Ellis County, Kan. – Storms rolled through western Kansas Tuesday evening with winds so strong they blew over at least 20 semis and forced the closure of a long stretch of Interstate 70, reports CBS Wichita affiliate KWCH-TV. The station says 80 mph winds also left more than 7,000 homes and businesses without power in parts of Ellis, Rooks and Rush counties.
The winds knocked down several high-voltage power lines and highway signs along I-70.
Nathan Scott, a weekend meteorologist on CBD Little Rock, Ark. Affiliate KTHV-TV happened to be driving through the area at the time:
In the city of Hays, the roof of a church was blown off and landed on a parked car.
And Tiger Media at Fort Hays State University reports extensive damage to the university's new art and design building.
Hays residents said they got torrential rain to go with the powerful winds, causing street flooding that left several vehicles stranded. Conditions were similar in the city of Ellis and parts of Ellis County, KWCH notes.
The storms began to weaken Tuesday night, the station says.