Ms. Michler rode out the storm with her husband and two daughters in a basement bathroom. They emerged to find their home intact, but Ms. Michler learned that Prairie Creek Elementary School, where she works as a special education teacher, had been hit. There, windows and parts of the roof were blown out, according to residents. School officials were assessing the damage on Saturday.
Renee Thompson Cunningham, 51, spent Friday evening with her husband and two sons sitting in their driveway watching the brewing storm. But what the family thought was a routine spring rain turned ominous when Ms. Cunningham’s 14-year-old son pointed to a “huge dark cloud,” she said.
“He was pointing out the cloud, and we watched it start spinning, and then it just turned into this full tornado,” Ms. Cunningham said. “I’ve never seen anything like that in my life. You could see the debris fly up from the field behind our subdivision. It just got bigger and bigger.”
She said that while her family was lucky, and her house went untouched, a friend lost her entire home. “They hid under the stairs and got trapped,” Ms. Cunningham said. “But some people heard them yelling for help and got them out.”
The tornado that hit Andover was one of several that touched down in Kansas and Nebraska. Damage from tornadoes elsewhere in those states was less severe, according to the Weather Service. Hail up to four inches in diameter was reported in a rural area of southern Nebraska.
The tornado came just a few days after the 31st anniversary of a severe tornado that hit Andover in 1991, killing 17 people, 13 of whom were in a mobile home park.
Severe thunderstorms are expected across parts of the Plains, Midwest and South this weekend. Areas of northeastern New Mexico and West Texas could see severe thunderstorms on Sunday, leading to elevated fire risk in parts of the Texas Panhandle.