The Latest: Man hid under mattress to survive Kansas tornado

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The Latest on tornadoes in the Midwest and Plains states (all times local):

9:50 p.m.

A least a dozen homes have been destroyed or damaged in Linwood, Kansas, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) west of Kansas City.

The Kansas City Star reports that 48-year-old Mark Duffin learned from his wife and a television report that the large tornado that hit the Kansas City outskirts Tuesday evening was headed toward his home.

The next thing he knew, the walls of his house were coming down.

Duffin told the Star he grabbed a mattress, followed his 13-year-old to the basement and protected the two of them with the mattress as the home crashed down around them.

He says: "I'm just glad I found my two dogs alive," He added: "Wife's alive, family's alive, I'm alive. So, that's it."


9:40 p.m.

The Kansas town of Bonner Springs appears to have sustained the most damage from a storm that swept through Wyandotte County on the western edge of the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Wyandotte County government spokesman Edwin Birch says there were power outages, uprooted and damaged trees and structural damage to buildings but no reports of injuries.

Earlier in the evening, the National Weather Service said that a large and dangerous tornado was on the ground in Wyandotte County and headed toward an area known as the Legends shopping district.

But Birch says they had no reports of damage from the Legends shopping district or the area immediately around the Hollywood Casino. He does not rule out the possibility of some minor damage but says "the brunt" of the damage in the county was in nearby Bonner Springs.


9 p.m.

The Kansas City International Airport has temporarily suspended flights and moved people from the terminals to parking garage tunnels for shelter because of storms passing through the area including tornadoes.

Passengers were in parking garages for about an hour before being allowed to return to the terminals.

But the storm left so much debris on the airfield that flights remained delayed, the airport's Twitter account said. It wasn't immediately clear when flights would resume. Phone and email messages left with airport spokesman Joe McBride were not immediately returned.


8:50 p.m.

At least 11 injuries have been reported in Douglas County, Kansas, after the county west of Kansas City was hit with a large destructive tornado.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Douglas County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Jenn Hethcoat said six people had been taken to the Lawrence hospital with injuries suffered during the storm, including one with serious injuries, and five more people were headed to the hospital.

Police said most of the damage in the county appeared to be outside the Lawrence city limits, but there were damaged trees, power lines and other debris on the southeastern edge of the city, and some roads were impassable.

The sheriff's office said that "several houses throughout the county" had sustained damage.

The newspaper said the tornado was confirmed near Lone Star Lake, southwest of Lawrence, around 6:10 p.m., and moved to the north and east, according to social media posts from the Lawrence Police Department.

7:40 p.m.

A tornado has damaged homes in a tiny town in eastern Kansas.

A twister described by the National Weather Service as large and potentially dangerous touched down just before 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the tiny town of Pleasant Grove, a township of about 100 people 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of Kansas City, Missouri.

There were no immediate reports of injuries but some homes suffered significant damage.

The tornado was part of another dangerous wave of storms crossing the Plains and Midwest. Kansas City and its suburbs were under a tornado warning Tuesday evening.

Heavy rain was falling on already-saturated soil, creating renewed concerns about flooding, including flash flooding.


7 p.m.

The National Weather Service office in Kansas City says a large and dangerous tornado is on the ground on the western edge of Kansas City, Kansas, and the NWS is telling residents to take shelter now.

The NWS declared a tornado emergency for Kansas City, Kansas and said the tornado was approaching Interstate 70 near the Kansas Speedway, a major shopping and entertainment area that is heavily populated.

There were no immediate reports of the extent of damage from the storm.


6:30 p.m.

Officials have a report of a tornado touching down outside near Kansas City on a path toward the city of Lawrence, Kansas.

Assistant Director Jillian Roderigue said Douglas County Emergency Management received a report of a tornado about 6:10 p.m. near the small community of Lone Star, southwest of Lawrence.

She said there no immediate reports of injuries. But local television stations were showing damage on the south side of Lawrence.

The city of about 100,000 residents is home to the University of Kansas. It is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of the Kansas City International Airport.

The National Weather Service in Kansas City issued a tornado emergency for Kansas City, Kansas; Shawnee and Bonner Springs, Kansas until 7:15 p.m.


This version of the Latest corrects the spelling of the last name of Douglas County Emergency Management Assistant Director Jillian Rodrigue.

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