Severe Storms in Kansas

posted in: Storm Chasing | 0
Storm Chase Details

Chase Date: May 12, 2010
Chase Partners:
Eric Treece

Chasers Encountered:
None

Miles Logged: 1301
States Chased: OK, KS
Severe Risks: SPC Outlooks

Chase Recap:

After staying the night in El Reno, and having left our luggage bags back at Steve’s house in Moore, Eric and I skipped showers and headed to Moore in the morning. We got Chick Fil A, and then headed to Steve’s where we took showers and then hit the road northbound on I-35 towards the Oklahoma/Kansas border.

We decided to get off the freeway in Blackwell and head west. This was where we were on the 10th, so we stopped for a bit west of Medford and shot some damage video from the Wakita Tornado on the 10th.

We headed west to the line of storms developing. The storms were already showing as linear as soon as they were going up, but we decided to go ahead and try to intercept anyway.

We intercepted the line southwest of Anthony, KS and sat around until the storms overtook us. We then headed north towards Anthony and worked our way to I-35.

We got on I-35 and headed up to Wichita, where we decided to stop for some Famous Daves BBQ.

While we were in Famous Daves, reports started coming in from Western Oklahoma of a tornado. While a bit disappointed, the forecast was pretty much a crapshoot for the day. Eric mentioned that if he could have gone anywhere, he would have done Western OK just for the terrain. I guess it makes sense, but I also needed to return to Michigan for work on Friday, so that played into the target.

We got onto the Kansas Turnpike heading towards El Dorado. We got to the overpass of KS 254, which is the first exit for El Dorado, and found a truck completely smashed into the overpass and power lines down across the road.

The story we heard was that the power lines came down and were hanging across the freeway from a downburst windgust. The truck then ran into the power line at full speed, being flung around and into the overpass, completely smashing the trucks trailer with the cement pillar. Luckily, it appeared everyone survived.

After a number of hours of being trapped on the freeway, and after a tornado warning for the city of El Dorado, we were able to flip southbound and go around the long way to get past the damage. Eric stopped to shoot some lightning, and by the time we got around, it appeared the highway was open. This was around 12am CDT.

The cops scared everyone on the freeway as well when the tornado warning was issued, telling everyone to hit the ditches. This was very undue, as we were barely in the warning polygon and the storm was obviously moving away. I had radar and let everyone know that it was not a big deal and not to worry so much.

Eric had a flight to catch in Kansas City in the morning, so we headed to Kansas City and I got a hotel room and we cleaned out the car then I took him to the KC Airport and went back to the hotel room and crashed hard, waking up the next morning around 11am for my drive home from Kansas City.

NW Ohio was out looked, and I wanted to make it there as it appeared to have the potential of May 7th, but nothing ever panned out and I never made it back in time.