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Kansas City ‘tornado emergency’ is latest in severe weather system

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Meteorologists Juston Drake and Simon Brewer filmed an incredible supercell thunderstorm near Imperial, NE, and another wall cloud near Sedgwick, CO.
USA TODAY

A dangerous tornado touched down on the western edge of Kansas City, Kansas, on Tuesday, the National Weather Service said, forcing residents of the heavily populated metropolitan area to take shelter. 

The service later cancelled the tornado warning for Kansas City, but urged caution for hail and strong winds as meteorologists reported severe weather moving east into Missouri. 

The Kansas City forecast originally issued a “tornado emergency” for the popular entertainment area known as the Legends Outlets for shopping near where the Kansas Speedway hosts NASCAR races.

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Travelers at Kansas City International Airport took shelter in parking garage tunnels as a precaution, the airport tweeted. Storm debris led air traffic controllers to delay all flights, and the airport remained closed as of 9:30 p.m. local time.

The NWS then expanded the tornado warning to include all of the Kansas City area including the part of the city in Missouri.

“The heart of KC is in this tornado warning! This is a dangerous situation. TAKE SHELTER NOW!” the Kansas City office tweeted.

As the system moved into Missouri, the weather service urged residents of areas such as Excelsior Estates and Mosby to take shelter from confirmed tornadoes. Damage reports were not immediately available, but about 13,000 customers lost power throughout the state. 

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The White House issued a state of emergency in 18 Kansas counties Tuesday evening while storms swept east towards Kansas City. Flash floods pose an overnight threat for the region, the weather service said. 

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Downed power lines, trees, and debris blocked off roads in Lawrence, a city about 35 miles from Kansas City, local police tweeted. A tornado also hit the nearby community of Linwood, damaging houses according to local media reports.

The tornado sightings are part of a massive severe weather system in the central United States that has produced tornado activity for eight straight days.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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