Large Tornado Touches Down Near Kansas City; At Least 12 Injured

At least 12 people were injured in a massive rain-wrapped tornado that touched down to the west of Kansas City, Kan., on Tuesday.

The large and dangerous twister hit just outside of Lawrence, ripped through Pleasant Grove, Bonner Springs and Linwood, in what has become a brutal stretch of severe weather across the central and southern plains that has left chaos and destruction in its wake.

"Houses were damaged and destroyed for a mile in any direction," The Kansas City Star wrote about the devastation in Linwood, a city with a population of about 375 people.

Kim Buchanan, deputy director of Emergency Management in Leavenworth County, estimated about 30 houses in the area were damaged, NPR member station KCUR reported.

"It is something we haven't seen in Leavenworth County in a very long time," Buchanan said.

In Lawrence, the police department said the tornado struck just outside of the city limits. Although the city was spared, officials said on Twitter, "Large trees, power lines, and debris" were strewn along roads on the southeastern end of the city, making some impassable.

"Please do not go sight seeing tornado damage," the department pleaded. "This only hampers the efforts of emergency workers."

Lawrence Memorial Hospital said a dozen patients were being treated at the facility.

"LMH Health is treating 12 patients with injuries from the tornado," officials said on Twitter. "One is in surgery. No conditions or status are available. Neighbors are streaming into the hospital seeking shelter."

Photos taken by The Weather Channel reporter Charles Peek, demonstrate the capriciousness and unpredictability of powerful tornadoes. In one shot, rain is pouring into the living room of a house with the roof torn off leaving the interior space in shambles. Meanwhile, an etagere shelf with what appears to be several delicate ceramic water pitchers remain untouched.

The Associated Press reported that the town of Bonner Springs endured a serious battering with toppled trees, power outages and structural damage to buildings.

"The storms in Kansas City Tuesday were the 12th straight day that at least eight tornadoes were reported to the National Weather Service," the wire service said.

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