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Tornadic storms make way through region

5/18/2013

By JUDY SHERARD

jsherard@dailynews.net

Storms blew through Hays on Saturday evening and toppled a large evergreen tree more than 50 years old.

Betty Calvert, 2700 Willow, was talking on the phone to her daughter and getting ready to go downstairs because of the storm when she heard a loud crack.

"I didn't know at first," she said of the downed tree that crashed into the alley east of her house.

When she later stepped out on her porch, a Hays policeman was there and told her about the tree.

Sgt. Jason Bonczynski with the Hays Police Department directed traffic away from the downed tree and said someone called in and reported it.

Calvert said she has lived there since the house was built in 1957, and the tree was planted in the spring of 1958.

"I'm sorry to see it go," she said. "I was lucky. If it had fallen the other way, it would have hit the house."

Rainell Goodale, who lives north of Calvert, said they could hear a steady strong wind for several minutes.

"The electricity went off as soon as it hit," Goodale said.

Midwest Energy was called to the scene, Bonczynski said.

Brief rain and hail was reported in the city of Hays, and significant rotation was evident as the main supercell rumbled through the area. Many tree branches were down in different areas throughout town.

Hail 1.25 inches was reported at Catharine, according to a storm report from the National Weather Service in Dodge City.

A tornado 10 miles southeast of Ellis was reported by law enforcement, but no damage was reported.

Near Ransom in northern Ness County, reports of 2-inch hail were submitted to the NWS as the storm began to intensify and move into portions of Trego County, where hail was reported as well.

The Ellis County emergency manager also reported a tornado 5 miles south of Ellis at just after 6 p.m. Saturday.

Farther south in Pawnee County, trained spotters reported a house nearly was destroyed two miles west of Rozel from a separate tornado. The two residents were not injured.

There is a 50-percent chance of showers and thunderstorms Sunday, with a high near 78. Some of the storms could be severe.