At least 9 are injured after a small Kansas town was hit by a tornado Tuesday night, Fox affiliate KTMJ reports. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback declared a state of emergency after the tornado struck Harveyville, Kansas, a town of about 240 people. The storm was part of a powerful storm system that pounded the state's midsection.
The declaration covers Wabaunsee County, southwest of Topeka. A news release from the governor's office said one person was critically injured and "a number of homes" and a church were damaged, and trees and power lines were down. The sheriff of Wabaunsee County told KTMJ the town was 40-60 percent destroyed. One person was reportedly airlifted to the hospital and at least 8 others were injured.
Earlier, the National Weather Service reported brief tornado touchdowns southwest of Hutchinson. Elsewhere in central Kansas, trained spotters and law enforcement reported hail the size of golf balls and winds estimated at 70 mph Tuesday night north of Hillsboro in Marion County. - FOX News.
UPDATE: 13 Killed As Tornadoes Rake Midwest States!
At least 13 people were killed overnight as a line of tornadoes marched across the Midwest, flattening parts of several towns, officials said Wednesday. Hardest hit was Harrisburg, Ill., where 10 deaths were reported, along with nearly 100 injuries and at least 200 homes destroyed or damaged. Forecasters warned more twisters could strike the Tennessee Valley and southern Appalachians through Wednesday evening as the storm system moved east. Ten of the deaths occurred in Harrisburg, the local coroner told state officials. What is thought to have been a tornado swept through the town around 5 a.m. local time, destroying 35-40 homes, accordingWATCH: Tornadoes rip through the Midwest States.
Three other deaths were reported in Missouri, where storms included a suspected tornado that hit a mobile home park outside the town of Buffalo. One person died in the mobile home park and around a dozen people were injured. Two others died in the Cassville and Puxico areas of Missouri.
On Tuesday night, at least 8 people were injured when a suspected tornado ripped through Harveyville, Kan. At least three of the injured are in critical condition, according to weather.com, and 40 percent of the town suffered damage.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback issued a disaster declaration for the area, parts of which were without power. Other hard-hit areas included Branson, the tourist hub, and Lebanon in Missouri. In Branson, 32 people were treated at one hospital for injuries, mostly cuts and bruises. An apparent tornado moved through downtown Branson, heavily damaging the city's famous theaters and hopscotching up Highway 76, uprooting road signs and scattering debris. The injuries could have been far worse had the storm hit next week, when the tourist season begins. "If it was a week later, it'd be a different story," said Bill Tirone, assistant general manager for the 530-room Hilton and adjacent Branson Convention Center, where windows were shattered and some rooms had furniture sucked away by high winds. Hotel workers were able to get all guests to safety as the storm raged. - KCENTV.