8:51 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Federal Aid Unlikely After Orrick Tornado

There probably isn’t enough tornado damage in Orrick, Mo., to qualify the small town 30 miles east of Kansas City for federal assistance.

Though the May 10 tornado ravaged homes and the local school, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says it's unlikely claims will top the $8.4 million threshold needed for federal disaster relief.

“We had a chance to tour the school today," says Nixon, who visited Orrick Wednesday. "The bottom line is that community, we’re working very hard to get the debris out of there.”

3:46 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Things Kansas Citians Would Try To Save From A Tornado

What would you grab if a tornado was approaching? Tweet your answer with the #TellKCUR hashtag.
Credit Wikimedia -- CC

What do rosaries, guitars and “Lord of the Rings” DVD box sets have in common?

They’re all objects that Kansas Citians said they would try to save if a tornado was on the way.

Given this week’s severe tornadoes across the United States, we used social media and the airwaves to ask you: What would you grab if a tornado was approaching?

We don’t advocate spending a lot of time scooping up material items if an incoming tornado is close to your home.

Read more
7:58 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Greensburg, Kansas Recovers From Twister Only To Face An Economic EF5

Greensburg Greentown Site Manager Ruth Ann Wedel sits on the second floor patio of an environmentally sustainable, tornado resistant silo home overlooking Greensburg.
Credit Frank Morris / KCUR

A massive EF5 tornado all but obliterated Greensburg, Kan., on May 4, 2007. Afterwards, city leaders saw a blank slate, a chance to reverse decades of decline by building a town for the future.

Greensburg’s green building initiative, drew big money, and lots of volunteer help. But now Greensburg faces a crossroads. The town is stuck at half its pre-tornado population with few prospects for growth. Some blame trends slowly decimating most farm towns, others find fault with the green initiative.    

Greensburg dreams big

Read more
Up to Date
9:00 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Finding The Origins Of Tornado Chasers

Tornado chasing got its start in the 1920s.
Credit Ryan-O/Flickr-CC

The booming thunderstorms and crazy spring weather have moved in, and any Midwesterner knows what comes with them—tornadoes. Most of us retreat to basements when those sirens sound, but a select few take that as a cue to go hunting for the cyclones. 

Read more
Central Standard
6:07 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Why Storm Chasers Do What They Do

Category F5 tornado viewed from the southeast as it approached Elie, Manitoba on Friday, June 22, 2007
Credit Justin Hobson / WikiCommons

Last month, as we all know, a series of tornadoes devastated areas around Oklahoma City, with dozens killed and hundreds injured over several days of storms.

Among the casualties were three men who were well known in the meteorological community and, indeed, to television audiences: Storm chasers Tim Samaras, his son Paul Samaras and Carl Young were doing interviews and sending back footage the day of the EF-3 El Reno storm that changed direction on them and killed them.

In light of these tragic events we wonder, just what is a storm chaser anyway?

Read more
KC Currents
11:01 am
Wed May 29, 2013

New System Warns Cell Phone Users Of Tornadoes, Other Emergencies

Cell phone alert for tornado warning in Lyon County, Kan. on May 19, 2013.
Credit Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

People in the path of severe weather (and other emergencies) now have a new way to find out about threats: text message alerts, sent straight to mobile devices.

Read more
3:41 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Metro Kansas Medical Aid Drives To Oklahoma Tornado Scene

Kansas City area humanitarian organization Heart to Heart is sending aid to tornado ravaged Moore, Okla.
Credit Heart to Heart

Olathe-based humanitarian relief agency Heart to Heart International intends to stay with its medical volunteers as long as they are needed in  Moore, Oklahoma.    

A team was heading to the  EF- 5 tornado scene within hours of the devastation, according to the chief executive.

Organization founder Doctor Gary Morsch, who has Oklahoma  relief agency  roots was ahead of them all.

A mobile medical clinic was on the highway going South by 7 Monday evening. 

Read more
4:25 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Despite Uncommon Weather Pattern, KC Area Tornado Watch Cancelled

Tornadoes are likely to develop in a storm system set to hit the Kansas City area Wednesday night.
Credit National Weather Service

6:50 pm update: National Weather Service cancels tornado watches for most of the Kansas City metro area. A watch remains in effect in Linn and Miami counties.

A storm system is developing over the Kansas City region that is more likely than not to produce tornadoes.

By reckoning of forecasters, the gathering of forces is unusual. 

Super-cells had already formed and fallen apart in areas of east central Missouri by mid-afternoon.

Read more
11:39 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Tornado Watch Issued For Eastern Kansas, Missouri

A tornado watch was issued Wednesday morning for eastern Kansas and most of Missouri.
Credit National Weather Service

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for the Kansas City area, eastern Kansas and most of Missouri. 

The watch was issued late Wednesday morning and is expected to last until at least 10 pm CDT. The storm could bring several intense tornados, hail up to 2.5 inches in diameter, and wind up to 70 mph.

A flood warning has been issued for Jackson county.

You can follow storm at the National Weather Service website.

Read more
10:38 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Soil Cleanup Underway In Southwest Missouri

Property damaged by the 2011 Joplin tornado, which also unearthed dangerous contaminants from the town's mining era.
wikimedia commons

When the tornado tore through Joplin and Duquesne in southwest Mo. in May 2011, not only did it kill 161 people and destroy thousands of buildings, it also unearthed something dangerous:

Read more
Central Standard
1:24 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Reuiniting Joplin With Their Lost Photos

Joplin's Found Photos

When the Joplin tornado struck one year ago, so much was destroyed or scattered that can never be replaced. And it became up to a few creative heroes to restore some of that order.

Read more
8:19 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Top Of The Morning News: Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Kansas City leaders look at the role of the city health care tax, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and House GOP leaders negotiate over workplace discrimination and workers’ comp bills, and more.  It’s a daily digest of headlines from KCUR.

Read more
8:28 am
Mon April 16, 2012

Top Of The Morning News: Friday, April 16, 2012

Tornadoes rip through Kansas but few lives are lost.  Poet William Towbridge discusses his work and being Missouri Poet Laureate. It’s a daily digest of headlines from KCUR.

Read more
6:55 am
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.

Read more
NPR Story
3:00 am
Mon April 16, 2012

Tornado Hits Wichita's Ailing Aviation Industry

Originally published on Mon April 16, 2012 6:48 am



The tornado season started early in much of the nation and continued over the weekend. Spotters reported more than 120 tornadoes on Saturday. One killed five people in Woodward, Oklahoma. Others ripped into homes and businesses in Iowa and Kansas. And that includes the heart of the economy in Wichita, the aviation industry. Here's Frank Morris from member station KCUR.

Read more
3:44 pm
Sun April 15, 2012

Scenes From Saturday's Storms

A tornado photo from Crawford, Kan.
@MannWhale Instagram

People throughout the midwest and around the world had their eyes and their cameras on the storms that swept through the country Saturday. 

Read more
The Two-Way
6:35 am
Wed April 4, 2012

After Ferocious Texas Tornadoes, Two Incredibly Welcome Words: 'No Deaths'

In Arlington, Texas, Tuesday afternoon, David Lowe carried his daughter's dog, Phoebe, away from the rubble.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 10:11 am

Tuesday's tornadoes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area produced some amazing videos of truck trailers being tossed into the air and homes being ripped apart.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:02 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Tornadoes Touch Down Near Dallas; Widespread Damage Reported

Destroyed vehicles sit in a Kenworth trailer lot after a tornado that swept through the area toppling many of the trailers on the lot on Tuesday in Lancaster, Texas.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 5:58 pm

"We've got two tornadoes, one in Dallas and one in Arlington. I just watched it plow through a tractor trailer parking lot like it was Godzilla in a temper tantrum."

That's how NPR's Wade Goodwyn just described the images being shown on local television in Texas.

The images from WFAA, the local ABC affiliate in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, show tractor trailers flailing across the air in the middle of a dark debris ball.

Read more
3:40 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Emergency Responders On The Ground In Harveyville

Emergency responders say that is was probably a tornado that ripped through the tiny town of Harveyville, Kansas last night.

Read more
11:09 am
Fri May 14, 2010

Walt Covers KC's Worst-Ever Tornado

Kansas City – Tornadoes raked Kansas and Oklahoma a week ago, killing 5 people. But those storms were minor compared to the one that hit Kansas City on May 20th, 1957. The Ruskin Heights Tornado was among the most powerful ever recorded. It obliterated the new neighborhood that it's named for, and killed dozens of people. KCUR's Walt Bodine was there before the dust cleared.

Read more