Storms, Hail and High Winds Batter Kansas, Indiana, Ohio

June 5, 2008

Authorities say lightning from a line of strong thunderstorms crashing through the Midwest ignited a large fire at a petroleum terminal in downtown Kansas City, Kan.

City fire Capt. Stan Castaneda says lightning struck a large storage tank at the Magellan Pipeline facility near downtown. The massive fire has sent flames and dark smoke billowing into the sky.

No injuries have been reported.

On the same evening, Tuesday, June 3, storms battered southeastern Kansas and western Missouri, with winds between 70-90 mph blowing tractor trailers off the road, downing trees and power lines, and toppling billboards, according to the National Weather Service.

Up to 3 inches of rain fell in areas of Johnson County and golf-ball sized hail was reported near Franklin County in eastern Kansas, according to the weather service. Spotters reported an overturned semitrailer in Wilson County in southeast Kansas and a wind gust of 112 mph was recorded at an airport in Cowley County.

Thunderstorms also cut through south-central Indiana on Tuesday, spawning at least three tornadoes and causing widespread damage. Scattered damage was reported throughout central Indiana, and at one point more than 4,600 people were without electricity.

A funnel cloud was spotted as part of the storm system heading from Indiana into Ohio as thunderstorms raged across the central and southern portions of Ohio on June 3 in the evening, dropping up to 2 inches of rain per hour, the National Weather Service reported.

Up to 3 inches of rain had fallen in two to three hours and up to 2 more inches was expected, the Weather Service reported, and a flash flood watch was to last through Wednesday afternoon in many areas.

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