Winds cause damage in north Basehor, Fairmount areas
Tonganoxie got hail from a Wednesday evening storm that moved through Leavenworth County but was spared the worst the storm had to offer.
The Leavenworth County Emergency Management Office reported tree and outbuilding damage from straight-line winds in the north Basehor and Fairmount Township area.
Randy McDowell of 23100 154th Street in Fairmount Township said the storm hit the home of him and his wife, Robin, about 9:30 p.m. and continued for about 15 minutes.
“We’ve had chainsaws running wide open since 7 this morning,” he said. “I think we got the worst of it.”
He had advance warning of the storm from his daughter Amy Shryrock, who called to warn the McDowells the hail that hit her home in Tonganoxie and from listening to the scanner. Still, the storm hit with an unexpected fury.
“It was a surprise to everybody,” he said. “Nobody said anything about 70 to 80 mph winds.”
Those wind speeds were his estimate, based on what would take to move his 30-foot travel trailer on leveling stands about three feet, McDowell said.
The winds snapped a walnut tree in half and brought it down on house roof, McDowell said.
“We really lucked out,” he said. “Damage wasn’t too bad. Just minor stuff. It torn up a sunroom and punched a hole in a solar panel.”
The wind did take down the Bradford pear trees lining his brother Ricky’s driveway nearby and snapped power poles, resulting in a power loss until about 3 a.m. Thursday, McDowell said.
The area also saw hail, enough to cover the ground. McDowell said despite warm temperatures his wife found a cluster of un-melted hailstones about the size of a soccer balls near a downspout at about 3 p.m. Thursday.