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Mon April 16, 2012
Early Warnings Reduced Human Loss From Tornadoes
The tornado systems that roared through Kansas over the weekend had an historic quality to them. An early warning appears to have limited the number of injuries as more than a hundred tornadoes touched down.
Preliminary counts had 122 tornadoes in the region over the weekend, most in Kansas.
There were so many reports, the National Weather Service is working to calculate which amounted to the same tornado.
The Weather Service, for only the second time, put out warnings two days in advance that the storms could be deadly. Sharon Watson with the Kansas Adjutant Generals' Office said yesterday the storms were unusual in their movement.
"The unique aspect was, they continued to pop up," Watson said. "Once we thought a storm was past a city like Salina, it would come back and hit that area again. It was a very dynamic system that moved through."
The Wichita area had the largest amount of damage.
McConnell Air Force Base was damaged. There was damage to six large buildings at Spirit AeroSystems.
The Weather Service put the power of one in Wichita at EF 3 with winds of around 165 miles per hour, another in Ellsworth County at EF 4.
There were no serious injuries and no fatalities.
Kansas City was on the edge of the watch system and storms moved to the North out of Kansas, missing the metro area. Damage estimates in Kansas are expected to go over $300 million.