Archive for Thursday, March 16, 2006

Lansing escapes storms’ fury

March 16, 2006

Hail and strong winds buffeted Lansing on Sunday, but the city escaped the brunt of storms that brought tornadoes to northeast Kansas.

The first storm passed through Sunday morning, producing marble-sized hail.

The hail that gathered on the streets and roadways contributed to at least one accident in southern Lansing, about 9 a.m. at Kansas Highway 7 and McIntyre Road. Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 Chief Rick Huhn said a car skidded off the road because of the slippery conditions. Firefighters also responded to an accident about 8:50 a.m. west of Leavenworth on Springdale Road.

The area was under tornado and/or severe thunderstorm watches most of the day. A second round of thunderstorms in the late afternoon also produced a brief hailstorm, but there was no major damage reported.

Shortly after 6:30 p.m., firefighters responded to a lightning strike in the 700 block of Morgan Street in the northeastern part of the city. Huhn said lightning struck about 10 feet from the house, climbed up the cable TV wiring to the house, damaged some siding and set a cardboard box outside the home on fire. He characterized the damage as minimal.

Another casualty of the Sunday storms were the phone lines at City Hall. Mike Smith, city administrator, said a power surge from the morning storm rendered the phone lines inoperable. The phones were back in service Monday morning.

Wind speeds were ratcheted up during Sunday's storms. Tony Zell, the city's wastewater utility director, said the top wind speed registered Sunday at a weather station at the Wastewater Utility Plant was 46 mph at 5:02 p.m.

South of the city in areas of Kansas City, Kan., and Lawrence, were hardest hit in the storms Sunday.

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