The National Weather Service rates a tornado that touched down this week in Ottawa County as an EF4.
According to the NWS Topeka office, a tornado touched down around 5:40 Tuesday evening in southern Ottawa county. It proceeded to become very large as it moved slowly southeastward to a point just west of U.S. Highway 81. The tornado then turned north and eventually moved back to the southwest toward the intersection of County Road 106 and Highway 18.
The tornado was on the ground for around one hour. At times was between one half and three quarters of a mile wide.
No serious injuries or fatalities occurred, however over 100 head of cattle were lost.
One home that was under construction was totally destroyed and four others were damaged. Multiple outbuildings sustained damage as well.
Damage to structures within the path yielded EF3 damage however supplemental data provided by mobile doppler radar sampled winds suggest that this was a violent tornado. As a result, the preliminary rating for this is a violent EF4 tornado.
The EF Scale is used show a tornado’s strength based on wind speeds and the damage it causes.
EF0 (65-85 mph)
* Light damage. Peels surface off some roofs; some damage to gutters or siding; branches broken off trees; shallow-rooted trees pushed over.
EF1 (86-110 mph)
* Moderate damage. Roofs severely stripped; mobile homes overturned or badly damaged; loss of exterior doors; windows and other glass broken.
EF2 (111-135 mph)
* Considerable damage. Roofs torn off well-constructed houses; foundations of frame homes shifted; mobile homes completely destroyed; large trees snapped or uprooted; light-object missiles generated; cars lifted off ground.
EF3 (136-165 mph)
* Severe damage. Entire stories of well-constructed houses destroyed; severe damage to large buildings such as shopping malls; trains overturned; trees debarked; heavy cars lifted off the ground and thrown; structures with weak foundations blown away some distance.
EF4 (166-200 mph)
* Devastating damage. Well-constructed houses and whole frame houses completely leveled; cars thrown and small missiles generated.
EF5 (>200 mph)
* Incredible damage. Strong frame houses leveled off foundations and swept away; automobile-sized missiles fly through the air in excess of 100 m (109 yd); high-rise buildings have significant structural deformation; incredible phenomena will occur.