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Severe Storm Packing Tornadoes Leaves Wide Swath Of Damage In Kansas City Metro

Missouri Highway Patrol

From Olathe, Kansas, to Oak Grove, Missouri, Tuesday morning, metro-area residents were surveying damage and catching their breath after a line of severe storms rolled through Monday night, causing widespread damage but no major injuries or deaths. 

The National Weather Service says two tornadoes touched down near Oak Grove and Smithville and officials are set to survey damage there and in Olathe. Schools in Odessa, Oak Grove and Lee’s Summit canceled classes Tuesday due to continued power outages and damage to some buildings. 

As of Tuesday morning, several thousand metro residents remained without power as crews with Kansas City Power & Light worked to restore lines and clear debris. Chuck Caisley, KCP&L Vice President for marketing and public affairs, says at its height the storm knocked out power to nearly 130,000 customers Monday.

He says most everyone should get power back Tuesday with the possible exception of residents in the hardest hit areas. 

"There are places like in Oak Grove, Grain Valley, and Raytown where they have been a significant amount of damage. All those areas, we're going to have to get poles re-established. Putting poles in the ground and clearing debris takes a lot longer than just putting up wires," he says. 

Caisley says more than 700 linemen, contractors, and crew members were out in the metro Tuesday repairing damage. 

Across the state line, Johnson County officials in Kansas said in a statement that Johnson County Executive Airport in Olathe suffered damage to several airplane hangars and some airplanes. The airport was closed Tuesday. 

In Leawood, near 145th and Falmouth, at least a dozen homes sustained damage from high winds, with siding ripped away, roofing torn off, and debris scattered in residents' front lawns. 

Eric Fischbach has lived in that area since last year after moving from his native New Jersey. He called the storm "enlightening." 

"It came real quick. It sounded just like they say: like a freight train. It picked up my patio furniture and moved my grill a few feet," he says. 

Kyle Palmer is KCUR's morning newscaster. You can follow him on Twitter @kcurkyle

KCUR's Sam Zeff contributed reporting. 

Kyle Palmer is the editor of the Shawnee Mission Post, a digital news outlet serving Northeast Johnson County, Kansas. He previously served as KCUR's news director and morning newscaster.
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