The Latest: Kansas City airport halts flights during storm

The Kansas City International Airport has temporarily suspended flights and moved people from the terminals to parking garage tunnels for shelter because of storms passing through the area including tornadoes.

Passengers were in parking garages for about an hour before being allowed to return to the terminals.

But the storm left so much debris on the airfield that flights remained delayed, the airport’s Twitter account said. It wasn’t immediately clear when flights would resume. Phone and email messages left with airport spokesman Joe McBride were not immediately returned.

At least 11 injuries have been reported in Douglas County, Kansas, after the county west of Kansas City was hit with a large destructive tornado.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Douglas County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Jenn Hethcoat said six people had been taken to the Lawrence hospital with injuries suffered during the storm, including one with serious injuries, and five more people were headed to the hospital.

Police said most of the damage in the county appeared to be outside the Lawrence city limits, but there were damaged trees, power lines and other debris on the southeastern edge of the city, and some roads were impassable.

The sheriff’s office said that "several houses throughout the county" had sustained damage.

The newspaper said the tornado was confirmed near Lone Star Lake, southwest of Lawrence, around 6:10 p.m., and moved to the north and east, according to social media posts from the Lawrence Police Department.

A twister described by the National Weather Service as large and potentially dangerous touched down just before 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the tiny town of Pleasant Grove, a township of about 100 people 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of Kansas City, Missouri.

There were no immediate reports of injuries but some homes suffered significant damage.

The tornado was part of another dangerous wave of storms crossing the Plains and Midwest. Kansas City and its suburbs were under a tornado warning Tuesday evening.

Heavy rain was falling on already-saturated soil, creating renewed concerns about flooding, including flash flooding.

The NWS declared a tornado emergency for Kansas City, Kansas and said the tornado was approaching Interstate 70 near the Kansas Speedway, a major shopping and entertainment area that is heavily populated.

Assistant Director Jillian Roderigue said Douglas County Emergency Management received a report of a tornado about 6:10 p.m. near the small community of Lone Star, southwest of Lawrence.

The city of about 100,000 residents is home to the University of Kansas. It is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of the Kansas City International Airport.

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