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KCII Severe Weather Action Team Responds to Two Tornado Warnings

Posted: Thursday, May 18th, 2017 at 6:30 am
Author: Sally Y. Hart - KCII News

A tree in Washington was snapped during storms Wednesday. Photo by Joe Nichols – KCII

Damage at 1854 Spruce Avenue. Photo submitted by Waylon Schultz

Strong winds, hail, heavy rain, lightning and thunder were all part of severe storms that caused two tornado warnings to be issued for Washington County Wednesday.

The first warning was issued at 3:45 p.m. for areas of Washington, Keokuk and Jefferson Counties. At 4:20 p.m. a tornado was reported near Richland moving northeast into Washington County by a fire department and rescue crew member.

Damage was reported by law enforcement in the Wellman area, including damage to outbuildings, sheds, windows and roofs. According to Washignton County Communications, one roof was blown off of a shed and there were hot power lines on the roadway with at least three poles broken off.

At 5:51 p.m. a second severe thunderstorm warning was issued for Washington County with strong winds. Washington and Keokuk Counties Emergency Management Coordinator Larry Smith said wind speeds reached 40 miles per hour south of Keota with heavy rain. Smith said there was damage to outbuildings along Cedar Avenue, east of Keota.

At 6:22 p.m. a tornado warning was issued for Washington County until 7 p.m. Wind speeds gusted up to 67 miles per hour at the Washington Municipal Airport. Many tree branches, trees, and power lines were knocked down. Extensive damage was reported to outbuildings at a residence on Spruce Avenue north of Ainsworth. Hail was reported near Riverside at 1.5 inches wide, Mt. Pleasant had hail 1.75 inches in diameter.

Power lines were knocked down around the county. Nearly 1,000 Washington County Alliant Energy customers lost power. Emergency generators kept KCII on air providing up to the minute coverage when the power went out. Six members of the KCII Severe Weather Action Team responded to the severe weather and brought you up to the minute coverage.

Today the National Weather Service is conducting surveys and looking at possible tornado locations. KCII will bring you more information when it becomes official.

Damage at 1854 Spruce Avenue. Photo submitted by Waylon Schultz

Click here for more photos of storm damage around the county – KCII Radio Facebook page.