National Weather Service says tornado touched down in JoCo — Here’s how strong it was

A damaged tree in Leawood. Photo credit Nikki Lansford.

Officials with the National Weather Service in Kansas City confirmed Wednesday afternoon that a tornado touched down in Johnson County early Wednesday morning.

How strong was it? The NWS preliminarily rated Wednesday’s tornado as an EF1, traveling on the ground 14 miles from Johnson County into Jackson County, Missouri, early Wednesday morning.

What is an EF1? An EF1 tornado is the second weakest tornado on the six-point Enhanced Fujita Scale, a scale used to assign a tornado’s strength based on estimated wind speeds and damage.

  • This type of tornado is likely to cause moderate damage, such as roof surfaces peeled off, mobile homes pushed or overturned and cars pushed off roads, NWS’s website says.

When and where: According to lead forecaster Chris Bowman with the NWS office in Pleasant Hill, the tornado touched down three miles west of Lenexa at 1:10 a.m. and skirted 95th Street through Overland Park and Leawood, jumping the state line and staying on the ground until 1:30 a.m.

  • It ultimately stopped one mile northeast of the Grandview Triangle, the intersection of I-435, I-470 and U.S. 71 in Kansas City, Bowman said.
  • With the maximum wind speed of 100 miles per hour, its path length was 14 miles, and its maximum width was 125 yards, he said.

More than one: This wasn’t the strongest tornado to touch down in the metro area Wednesday morning.

  • The NSW also released a preliminary damage report from northeast Jackson County of an EF2 tornado that went through Buckner, Missouri.
  • According to NWS’s preliminary data, that tornado had maximum winds of 115 mph and also a track of 14 miles long and a maximum path width of 125 yards.

  • Two additional tornadoes, both rated EF0 — the lowest ranking of strength on the Enhanced Fujita Scale — were identified in Miami County, Kansas.

Overland Park cleanup: To help with debris cleanup, Overland Park is offering residents the opportunity to drop off loose tree limbs Sunday, June 12, and Monday, June 13, at the Overland Park Parks Headquarters, at 11921 Hardy Street, near 119th and Antioch.

  • The center will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days for residents to drop off an unlimited amount of storm debris.
  • Branches, limbs or stumps can be bundled, bagged or loose, but residents should be prepared to unload the debris from their vehicle on their own, city staff said.
  • A proof of residency at the drop off is required. Staff and volunteers will be checking for either an Overland Park ID or an ID and matching utility bill with an Overland Park address.
  • Non-residents driving vehicles will be permitted to use to the drop-off site when accompanied by an Overland Park resident.