A tornado tore through the northwestern corner of Kiowa County on Saturday evening, destroying a farmhouse and leaving a trail of damage that extended into two adjacent counties.


A tornado tore through the northwestern corner of Kiowa County on Saturday evening, destroying a farmhouse and leaving a trail of damage that extended into two adjacent counties.

The National Weather Service (NWS) still has yet to classify the tornado, which touched down at about 8:30 p.m to the west of U.S. 183 near the Mile 62 marker. A representative at the NWS office in Dodge City expected it to be rated an EF2 tornado on Monday morning.

Electric company crews, property owners and area residents were out early Sunday morning surveying the damage and beginning repairs.

A representative from Ninnescah Electric Co-op, which operates lines throughout Kiowa, Pratt, Stafford, Edwards and Barber Counties estimated between 50-60 poles would need to be repaired between Greensburg and Macksville.

Local farmer John Colclazier was repairing a sizeable section of fence, running along the west side of U.S. 183, that had been damaged.

As the funnel traveled northeast it damaged windmills, power lines and farm equipment.

The home of Randy Banta absorbed a direct hit from the tornado as it passed directly over the farmhouse he grew up in.

Banta said he was standing in his front yard and saw the tornado crest a nearby hill as it barreled towards his home. He took shelter in the basement and remarked that the house was lifted 6-8” off of the foundation as he rode out the storm with his beloved dog.

To the northeast, Steve Heft’s home was damaged by a nearby tree that fell across his front porch and into the master bedroom. Volunteers removed the tree safely and damage to the home was manageable.

Heft guessed that the tornado missed them to the south.

Further to the east a large tree was uprooted in the backyard of the home of Steve and Rae Harrell. Though they thought that tornado missed them, oddly, their garage door was damaged, but the two vehicles just a foot or two away were barely scratched.

Harrell was removing the fallen tree that was one of the largest in a line of half a dozen running across their property.

A quarter mile to the northeast, a trailer home was completely flipped over and a shelterbelt was decimated.

The Kiowa County Sheriff’s Dept. reported that there were no deaths or serious injuries.

Elsewhere in the county, residents reported large hail and strong winds that caused damaged to homes, broken windows and a pair of tornado siren warnings.