High winds damage traffic signs, buildings, fuel fires

KANSAS/MISSOURI — Last night’s high winds caused damage across the state from Kansas to Missouri: from signs to a sizable metal building. The fires remain in Kansas.

Carthage, Mo.

In Carthage, Missouri, KOAM meteorologist Doug Heady said daytime gusts ahead of the storm were 50 to 60 miles per hour. That’s when a metal building exploded and got stuck on a power pole. Owners say there were no injuries. The building came from a clearing just behind the electric pole.

During the storm, Doug says wind gusts were near 80 miles per hour.

Kansas Road Signs

Kansas was also damaged by the December 15 winds. In northwest and southwest Kansas, the KDOT indicates that the wind has sheared or knocked down road signs.

Northeastern and southeastern Kansas suffered minimal losses. KDOT says they were able to replace most of the missing signs in those areas.

Work began to replace the missing panels at the same time as overall assessments of the number of failed panels began. If anyone sees a downed or blown sign away from the roadway, please contact the nearest KDOT office or email KDOT#[email protected] with the name of the highway/intersection , nearest town and county name.

Kansas fires

Firefighters and emergency responders battle blazes spreading through parts of central and western Kansas after a powerful storm ripped through the state.

The Kansas Forest Service says 400,000 acres have burned in 11 western Kansas counties, with smaller fires in other counties. High winds kicked up thick dust and three people died in two crashes in southwestern Kansas due to reduced visibility.

Emergency management officials say several homes, outbuildings and other structures were destroyed by Wednesday’s fires, but no fatalities have been reported. The fires were fueled by winds reaching up to 90 mph in some places, combined with dry grass and low humidity.

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