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Kansas City cleans up, more tornado threats today

Kansas City residents are cleaning up from straight-line winds and at least one tornado that touched down west of Belton overnight.

Severe thunderstorms, flash flooding and isolated tornadoes will continue threaten lives and property over what is known as ‘Tornado Alley.’ One of the biggest threats today will be large, damaging hail.

Several schools are closed today across the metro because of power outages. Utility crews are rushing to beat the clock this morning before additional severe weather moves in.

Weather forecasters are encouraging the area’s two million residents not to let their guard down as the weather is setting up for a similar explosion of severe activity this afternoon.

The risk of severe thunderstorms is forecast to extend from near the Big Bend area of Texas across Kansas into Missouri and then into northwestern Illinois.

For the second day in a row, tornadoes developed near Tescott and Culver in Ottawa County of northern Kansas, but the newest twisters were weak and short-lived including those in the Kansas City metro.

Tornado sirens screamed across the metro from Pleasant Hill, Lee’s Summit, Raytown, Blue Springs and north to Liberty.

Unlike Tuesday, when more than 20 tornadoes were reported across the Sunflower State, few twisters formed Wednesday in Missouri.

“That activity developed into a line so early” it limited storms’ ability to produce tornadoes and large hail, said Mick McGuire, a meteorologist with the Wichita branch of the National Weather Service.

A tornado touched down for about two minutes northwest of Cassoday in the Flint Hills of Butler County. Another touched down briefly at I-35 and Beto Junction in Osage County. No damage was reported.

Hail as large as half dollars fell near Nickerson in Reno County, Kan, but by the time the squall line reached Kansas City the hail was primarily the size of peas and marbles.

The National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill will send out teams today assessing the damage and rating the intensity of the storms.

–By Metro Voice