Dave Williams posted the following response on the Kansas listserv to the question I posed on both listservs about possible tornado damage to birding areas at Ft. Leavenworth and Weston Bend State Park:

The City of Leavenworth, Ft. Leavenworth and Weston Bend State Park
escaped unscathed from nature's fury Sunday evening, but what a night!
The tornado that went through southern Leavenworth County and then
into Wyandotte County was the real deal.  The storm did come very
close to Wyandotte County Lake, but I do not know its status.

There were two large thunderstorm cells approaching Leavenworth County
when the tornado sirens went off.  The first tornado was sighted in the
Tonganoxie / Jarbalo area, and touched down near the County Shop, if
any of you know where that is on the old Tongie Road.  The path of that
storm was taking it directly toward Leavenworth / Ft. Leavenworth but
it apparently lifted back into the clouds only to touch down again after
it crossed the river into Missouri between Beverley and Tracy.

Beverley is the little cluster of buildings at the turn-off from Highway 92
onto Missouri Highway 45 - the turn-off to Weston Bend State Park.
There was significant damage to several homes and barns along Highway
92 just a few miles east of that intersection.

But, that storm was quickly overshadowed by 'the big one'.  A second
thunderstorm cell had developed somewhere north of Lawrence, caused
damage in Linwood and Basehor (both in southern Leavenworth County)
and then bore down on Wyandotte County.  Just east of the new Kansas
Speedway / Cabela's complex it touched down, apparently first as the
typical twisting, funnel-shaped cloud, but then dropping down from the
sky as a massive tornado 1/4-mile wide.  Many, many homes were
totally destroyed in this area of Kansas City, KS.  The same system
then crossed the river into Parkville, MO, followed Highway 9 along the
Missouri River valley, and then continued on into other Missouri metro
cities of Gladstone and Liberty.  Damage was extensive along this
entire route.

I haven't seen an actual number, but this large tornado was on the
ground for 10 or 15 miles at least per my estimation.

At my house we had relatively little wind and rain.  The atmosphere was
very turbulent, the clouds were moving in many different directions.  The
system passed through quickly, the sun came out and it then got very
warm.  Kansas City television was on the air with helicopter camera
views of the tornado as it roared through Wyandotte County!  The
pilot was able to stay on the backside of the tornado and give some
stunning views of the funnel cloud, and then later of houses totally
devastated - nothing left but foundations.  The Kansas City area had
only one fatality, somewhat miraculously.

I walked for an hour or so at Weston Bend this evening after work,
and I was at Ft. Leavenworth today on business.  Both areas are fine.

I did check the Missouri River below the park.  Where there was a
Cormorant roost of 20 - 25 birds on Saturday, there were only 2
Cormorants to be seen this evening, neither of which could be turned
into an Anhinga

Bob Fisher
Independence, Missouri
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