Strong winds blow over at least 20 semis in western Kansas

/ CBS News

Ellis County, Kan. – Storms rolled through western Kansas Tuesday evening with winds so strong they blew over at least 20 semis and forced the closure of a long stretch of Interstate 70, reports CBS Wichita affiliate KWCH-TV. The station says 80 mph winds also left more than 7,000 homes and businesses without power in parts of Ellis, Rooks and Rush counties.

The winds knocked down several high-voltage power lines and highway signs along I-70.

Nathan Scott, a weekend meteorologist on CBD Little Rock, Ark. Affiliate KTHV-TV happened to be driving through the area at the time:

Traveling on I-70 near Ellis in Ellis County strong winds toppled over 3 tractor-trailers within a mile. I also saw speed limit signs bent over. @NWSGoodland #severeweather pic.twitter.com/bdhrMkoJyA

— Nathan Scott THV11 (@NathanScott_wx) August 14, 2019

Winds have to pretty strong to do this to a highway sign. West of Hays. @NWSGoodland @NWSDodgeCity pic.twitter.com/rB6JWD392h

— Nathan Scott THV11 (@NathanScott_wx) August 14, 2019

In the city of Hays, the roof of a church was blown off and landed on a parked car.

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And Tiger Media at Fort Hays State University reports extensive damage to the university's new art and design building.

Hays residents said they got torrential rain to go with the powerful winds, causing street flooding that left several vehicles stranded. Conditions were similar in the city of Ellis and parts of Ellis County, KWCH notes.

The storms began to weaken Tuesday night, the station says.

First published on August 14, 2019 / 5:19 AM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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