Tornado devastation in Kansas

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (KSNW) – KSN News is getting a look at tornado damage near Lawrence and Linwood. 

The tornado damage is spread across northeast Kansas. Everyone survived, but more than a dozen people were injured. 

Along N. 1100 Road, several homes suffered significant damage. One man urged his family to get into the basement before it hit.

“My son called me. He was on the road. I said come over here, safe in the basement,” said John Hutton, Lawrence resident. “My daughter was at Walmart, come over here safe to the basement. So, I called both of my kids to come here believe it or not, and we were downstairs when it hit, went in the basement.”

Even though his family was protected downstairs, Hutton lost his home. 

It was a similar situation for Mike Labonte, who also lost his home to the tornado.

“I was hollering at her and watching it out the window. I said, ‘It’s coming, Get down here now,'” recalled Labonte. He said the storm peppered him and his family with glass and debris.

When the tornado moved on, Labonte and family opened the stairway door to see very little of their life where they left it.

“Well, it’s not good,” said Labonte when he peeked out the stairway door. “All I see is sky up there.” 

Several people who live in Lawrence tell KSN that the tornado could have been worse. They tell KSN it hooked and started going east, missing the heart of Lawrence. 

From Lawrence, the storm also caused damage in Linwood. Free State Growers Inc. was leveled, and numerous homes were damaged.

Some residents are counting their blessings, even if they do seem small.

“We’re one of the lucky ones believe it or not,“ said Hutton. ”We have a house to go to. My neighbors don’t have a house.”

The months worth of tornadoes and storms have weighed heavily on many longtime residents of central Kansas.

“I’ve lived her all my life, I don’t want to go through one of these again,” said Hutton. “It was pretty terrifying.”



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