WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – Update: In a briefing from emergency officials in Andover, the city’s fire chief, Chad Russell said there were 966 buildings in a tornado’s path from where it began in Sedgwick County, into the City of Andover and across the county line into Butler County. Chief Russell confirmed some neighborhood homes were destroyed, but did not yet have a total on the number of structures damaged or destroyed. Earlier Friday night, the United Way of the Plains reported 50 to 100 structures damaged, just in Sedgwick County.
What started as a funnel, eventually touching down as a small rope tornado near Andover Friday night gained momentum and grew to a large cone that caused extensive damage throughout the Wichita suburb.
Confirmed damage included destruction of homes, extensive damage to the Andover YMCA and Capital Federal Amphitheater in Andover Central Park, as well as at least minor damage to Andover City Hall and Andover Central High School. The United Way of the Plains reported 50 to 100 structures damaged in Friday night’s tornado, just in Sedgwick County. The total including Butler County is likely to be much higher. The United Way said the Andover YMCA took a direct hit.
A firefighter at a scene near East 31st Street South and South 137th Street East confirmed one serious, but non-life-threatening injury in that neighborhood.
The Greater Wichita YMCA late Friday night issued a statement, expressing thankfulness that no one at the Andover facility when the tornado hit was injured. As expected, the YMCA said the Andover branch will be closed until further notice.
“We are thankful that all of the staff and members that took shelter at the branch at the time of the storm were not injured,” the YMCA said.
The tornado that slammed Andover came with a powerful storm that continued to trek northeast. A tornado was also confirmed near Rosalia, about 16 miles east of El Dorado.
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