An intense springtime storm system that moved across Kansas the evening of April 29 with large hail and strong straight-line winds spawned multiple tornados causing damage to buildings, trees, and power lines in several counties. In response to these storms, Governor Laura Kelly declared a State of Disaster Emergency effective at 8:57 p.m. on April 29. The declaration activates the disaster response and recovery portions of the Kansas Response Plan, authorizing state resources to augment local jurisdictions with response and recovery efforts in areas impacted statewide.
The State Emergency Operations Center has received several reports of damages and on-going efforts for search and rescue as well as damage assessments. Power lines, homes and outbuildings have been reported as preliminary damages across numerous counties. Storms are ongoing so most of the assessments are too early to detail currently.
"We have learned from past experience that we can't wait for the storm to hit before we respond," Gov. Kelly said. "By taking these steps early we are able to more quickly react when the counties ask for assistance.”
The Kansas Division of Emergency Management activated the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Topeka to a "Level 2 - Enhanced Steady State." KDEM staff will remain in contact with county emergency managers for additional information as severe storms continue in many areas. Affected counties are still assessing damages.