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Central Plains see 17 tornadoes; only light damage reported

April 14, 2012|By Matt Pearce

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- As predicted, storms marching eastward through northwestern Oklahoma, central Kansas and southern Nebraska have unleashed a string of tornadoes.

But so far, only light damage has been reported.

By 2:40 p.m. Pacific time Saturday, the National Weather Service had counted 17 tornadoes spotted across sparsely populated areas in the Central Plains -- largely on a diagonal line running southwest to northeast between Woodward, Okla., and Thayer, Neb.

The weather service issued tornado warnings for McPherson and Logan counties in west-central Nebraska. "Take cover now," the service said.

Near Tipton, Kan., a storm chaser spotted a rain-wrapped tornado -- a funnel cloud veiled by rain -- that may have been responsible for stripping tin off a building in the area, according to the weather service, though heavy straight winds had also been reported in the area. The service reported downed power lines and highway signs around Mitchell and Russell counties in central Kansas.

The service continues to call for tornado-producing storms also capable of strong winds and tennis-ball-sized hail.

As evening approached, reaction among Kansans on Twitter was mixed -- some were scared, others nonchalant, many annoyed.

A few teens worried that the storms could interrupt their prom plans -- it's that time of year -- though when it came down to handling it, the kids seemed like they were all right.

"I live in Kansas.... In Wichita and the weather is horrible.... we're on Tornado watch I hope I don't die lol," @GomezRoses tweeted. "Anyway hi @justinbieber :)"

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