TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — One person was killed Friday in southeast Kansas in a storm system that brought wind and rain throughout the state, authorities said.
Wilson County emergency management announced in a news release that one person was killed in the storm as it pushed through Fredonia and New Albany. The release did not provide details about the person or how the individual died, and spokeswoman Cassandra Edson wound not comment. The release said winds reached up to 120 mph and caused the New Albany Methodist Church to collapse.
Sharon Watson, spokeswoman for the Kansas Division of Emergency Management, said Wilson and Butler counties were requesting dump trucks so they could start removing debris.
Further north, heavy rainfall forced the closure of a 20-mile stretch of the Kansas Turnpike near Emporia around 6 a.m. after the Highway Patrol received reports of water covering the interstate.
The highway was reopened after about an hour, but northbound traffic was down to one lane while crews repaired the shoulder. The repairs were expected to be completed by the end of the day.
Westar Energy was reporting more than 15,000 customers were without electricity in southeast and south-central Kansas. Crews were being dispatched to remove downed tree debris and restore connections.
The National Weather Service in Topeka said persistent rainfall over the past few weeks saturated the ground and there was nowhere for the water from Friday morning's storms to go.
The service said the same weather system caused some damage near Wichita, with reports of bow echo winds of up to 80 mph that hit a mobile home park and blew a vehicle off the highway.
In southeast Kansas, trees and roofs were damaged by the high winds, Watson said, including reports of silos and semitrailer trucks being blown over. Schools were closed in Bourbon, Greenwood and Lyon counties because of damage and flash flooding.