Friday night storm leaves trail of damage across Kiowa County

PROMO 64J1 Weather - Severe Thunderstorm Sign - iStock - gguy44
Published Sunday, July 11, 2021

An intense storm system moving across eastern Colorado Friday night damaged trees, vehicles and buildings in Kiowa County.

A severe thunderstorm watch was issued by the National Weather Service shortly before 9:00 p.m. Friday which included Kiowa, Prowers, Cheyenne and Kit Carson counties. The watch quickly escalated to thunderstorm warnings and, for a few minutes, tornado warnings.

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MAP Radar image and thunderstorm warning for Kiowa County July 9, 2021 - NWS
Radar image and thunderstorm warning for Kiowa County July 9, 2021 - NWS

On the western edge of one storm near Eads, an unofficial wind gust of 55 miles per hour was recorded just after 9:30 p.m. Colorado Mesonet reported on social media a gust of 59.5 mph near Holly in Prowers County after 10:00 p.m. Wind damage was already being noted across southeast Colorado.

In another social media report, Sean Harkness posted photos of extensive damage in the Towner area, including a heavily damaged shop building and steel grain bins that had been blown off their foundations near the grain elevator and flattened.

In Eads, tree branches were snapped, including large branches at the Kiowa County Courthouse where a large section of one tree fell. Similar damage was noted near the schools and athletic fields.

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PICT Damaged tree at the Kiowa County Courthouse in Eads from a storm July 9, 2021 - Chris Sorensen
Damaged tree at the Kiowa County Courthouse in Eads from a storm July 9, 2021 - (c) KiowaCountyPress.net / Chris Sorensen

Power outages, some lasting for hours, were reported due to damage to electric lines and poles.

Rainfall amounts ranged from just a few hundredths of an inch in central Kiowa County to an inch or more with intense storm cells that moved across the eastern half of the county.

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MAP Radar image and thunderstorm warning for Kiowa and Prowers counties July 9, 2021 - Chris Sorensen
Radar image and thunderstorm warning for Kiowa and Prowers counties July 9, 2021 - Chris Sorensen

While Friday's watch was originally expected to last until the early morning hours of Saturday, it was cancelled at 11:39 p.m. as storms rapidly moved out of the area into Kansas.

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The Kiowa County Press is an independent newspaper published in Eads, Kiowa County, Colorado, and to the world at KiowaCountyPress.net.