High winds across the plains closed roads with blowing dust and pushed fires at a rapid pace Tuesday night.
Kansas Highway 24 was closed due to zero visibility east of Colby Tuesday evening due to blowing dust. The Thomas County Sheriff’s Office reported at least one injury accident on that highway, posting on Facebook that a deputy, driving 10 mph hour in the blowing dust almost struck one of the disabled vehicles due to the poor visibility.
U.S. 40 was closed from Sharon Springs to the Colorado state line due to a fire near the highway that prompted people to evacuate in the town of Weskan.
A 73 mph wind gust was recorded by the National Weather Service near Gem in Thomas County at 8:23 p.m. A 65 mph gust was reported to the Goodland NWS by social media 10 miles south of Gove at 8:45 p.m.
The winds hit Ellis County later in the evening, but without the visibility-blocking gusts experienced farther west.
A wind gusts of 61 mph was reported at the Hays Regional Airport at 11:04 p.m. and 58 mph 1 mile west of Toulon a minute later.