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2019 Harper, Kansas Tornado
EF4 tornado
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The high-end EF4 tornado near Harper.
Date May 3, 2019
Times 1636-1904
Touchdown location 4:36 PM CDT
Highest winds

200 mph (estimated)

Injuries 95
Fatalities 30
Damage $4.96 billion (2019 USD)
Areas affected Areas of Harper, Kansas
Part of the
Tornadoes of 2019 (Hitman)
Tornado Outbreak of May 3, 2019
The 2019 Harper, Kansas Tornado was a violent and catastrophic, high-end EF4-rated tornado that struck the city of Harper, Kansas in the late afternoon-early evening hours of May 3, 2019.

Coming on the 20-year anniversary of the incredibly violent, strong, and catastrophic F5 tornado that struck Central Oklahoma, the tornado was responsible for 30 deaths, 95 injuries, and $4.96 billion (2019 USD) in damages.


Meteorological Synopsis

In the late-evening hours of May 2, 2019, a system that began to develop over the Rockies exploded over Kansas, causing multiple strong and violent tornadoes, including an EF4 that struck Hudson, Kansas, killing 9 and injuring 84.

In the early-morning hours of May 3, the National Weather Service (NWS), issued an High Risk for the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska as the system was intensifying and had a 45% to produce a violent tornado.

At 8:51 AM CDT, the first tornado of the outbreak that would formed touched down in the Texas Panhandle and tracked into the Oklahoma Panhandle before entering Kansas as an EF4 with 185 mph winds. Killing 22 and injuring 479, this EF4 caused $5.67 billion (2019 USD) in damages.

Between 9:00 AM CDT and 4:30 PM CDT, 76 tornadoes touched down in the plains, including another 3 EF4's and 7 EF3's.

Tornado Warning

After an active day for tornadoes, a supercell formed over Oklahoma City and transitioned over Southern Kansas, causing another 19 tornadoes to touch down. A tornado watch was issued at 3:14 PM CDT for the counties of Comanche, Kiowa, Pratt, Clark, Kingman, Barber, Harper, Sedgwick, and Sumner counties.

A tornado warning was issued then at 3:31 PM CDT. Another 16 tornadoes touched down, all either EF0 or EF1.

Event

The main tornado touched down at 4:36 PM CDT near a forest a quarter mile away from Alden. Slowly gaining speed and intensity, the tornado caused EF0 damage to a church. Quickly intensifying further into a large-wedge EF3 over a 30 mile path.

Barely dodging the town of Hudson at 5:09 PM CDT, the tornado further intensifying into a mid-range EF4 near Stafford, dodging that town as well as the towns of Preston, Isabel, and Nashville. Reaching it's peak strength northwest of Harper, severely injuring an elderly farmer and his wife at 5:28 PM CDT.

Chapman, KS EF4 5-25-16

The large EF4 nearing Harper.

Impacting 4 more farms 2 miles west of Harper, a 51 year-old man was killed when the tornado impacted his home at high-end EF4 strength. Tracking towards Harper even further, a tornado emergency was declared for Harper County as the tornado continued to strengthen.

A line of homes that were anchor bolted were leveled and damage rated in this area was rated at high-end EF4. 26 fatalities occurred at the Rolla-Rena Skating Center as the facility was crowded and hit at maximum intensity with 200 mph winds. Damage in this area was rated high-end EF4 as the facility was nearly completely leveled. 58 injuries also occurred at this location.

Ef-5-hackleburg-alabama-4-27-11

What's left of the Rolla-Rena Skating Center after the high-end EF4 swept through with 200 mph winds.

Retaining it's strength, the EF4 killed another farmer after a farm was leveled, throwing dozens of farm vehicles up to a mile away. Loosing strength a little, the EF4 impacted a few dozen homes, injuring 13 and causing $50 million.

Entering Harper, a deserted shopping center was leveled, still causing $1.2 billion in damages. After impacting the center, the tornado weakened to an EF3 before a small satellite tornado touched down as the tornado was nearing Anthony. Another 2 were killed along with 14 injuries as a warehouse was severely damaged.

Weakening further, the now EF2 killed a 83 year old-man as a tree fell on his destroyed house. Another 6 were injured as a accident caused by the tornado started a fire. Weakening further into an EF0, another 4 were injured as a mobile home was moderately damaged, nearly killing a man.

After tracking past Corwin and Hazelton, the EF0 tornado dissipated in an open field at 7:04 PM CDT after killing 30, injuring 95, and causing $4.96 billion (2019 USD) in damages.

Aftermath

On May 4, the governor of Kansas, Laura Kelly, declared a state of emergency for the state and asked President Donald J. Trump to send federal aid. The following day on the 5th, Trump signed a declaration in which the state of Kansas will receive federal aid. By May 20, the official death count reached 30 and economic losses reached $4.96 billion (2019 USD). Ranking as the 19th costliest tornado ever and 2nd costliest in Kansas history, the EF4 was the deadly, but not the costliest of the outbreak that it occurred in.

Another 4 EF4's would hit the surrounding areas of Harper, causing 157 deaths and hundreds more injuries. The NWS sent many groups of surveyors to access the damage. The final rating was a high-end EF4. The path reached 118.47 miles and 1.3 miles wide.

Gallery


Hitman's Notable Tornadoes 1
2016 Sherman, Texas Tornado2017 Mount Dora, Florida Tornado2017 Clermont, Florida Tornado2017 Bradenton, Florida Tornado2017 Broken Arrow, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Washington, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Tescott, Kansas Tornado2018 Clermont-Groveland-Four Corners, Florida Tornado2018 Jarrell, Texas Tornado2018 Houston-Pasadena, Texas Tornado2018 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Red Rock, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Vilonia, Arkansas Tornado2018 Smithville, Mississippi Tornado2018 Woodward, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Antlers, Oklahoma Tornado2018 New Cordell, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Oleta, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Tushka, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Broken Arrow, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Keyes, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Prague, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Bixby, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Webster, South Dakota Tornado2018 Wilco-Dimmitt, Texas Tornado2019 Prescott, Arkansas tornado2019 Chesterfield, Missouri Tornado2019 Harper, Kansas Tornado2019 Sand Springs, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Spiro, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Vinita, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Salt Lake City, Utah Tornado2019 Sterling, Kansas Tornado2019 Vian, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Parshall, North Dakota Tornado2019 Bridge Creek-Moore, Oklahoma Tornado2020 Phil Campbell, Alabama Tornado2020 Ider, Alabama Tornado2020 Philadelphia, Mississippi Tornado2020 Double Springs, Alabama Tornado2020 Athens, Mississippi Tornado2020 Vernon, Alabama Tornado2020 Steens, Mississippi Tornado2020 Capitol, Montana Tornado2020 Washington D.C. Tornado2021 Piedmont - Guthrie, Oklahoma Tornado2021 Piedmont, Oklahoma tornado2021 Gladstone, New Mexico Tornado2023 Chandler, Minnesota Tornado2025 Harrisburg-Reading-Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Tornado2026 Eastport, Maine Tornado2027 Tuscaloosa, Alabama Tornado2028 Wray, Colorado tornado2028 Lone Grove, Oklahoma Tornado2028 Mulhall, Oklahoma Tornado
Hitman's EF4 Tornadoes
2017 Bradenton, Florida Tornado2018 Iona-Rigby, Idaho Tornado2018 Greene County, Ohio Tornado2018 Binger, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Millersport, Ohio Tornado2018 Bennington, Kansas Tornado2018 Guin, Alabama Tornado2018 Spencer, South Dakota Tornado2018 Leedey, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Olney, Texas Tornado2018 Udall, Kansas Tornado2018 Blackwell, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Clyde, Texas Tornado2018 Broken Bow, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Checotah, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Lawton, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Quapaw, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Antlers, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Eureka, Kansas Tornado2018 Pushmataha County, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Finley, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Union City, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Overland Park, Kansas Tornado2018 Dimmitt, Texas Tornado2018 Goldsby, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Perryville, Missouri Tornado2018 St. Jo, Texas Tornado2018 Roff, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Tuttle, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Troy, Oregon Tornado2018 De Smet, South Dakota Tornado2018 Dayton, Indiana Tornado2018 Kingfisher, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Davenport, Iowa Tornado2018 Piedmont, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Okarche, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Guthrie, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Lincoln County, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Fairland, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Chelsea, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Justice, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Dotyville, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Glenpool, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Mulhall, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Miami, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Griggs, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Grove, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Edmonson, Texas Tornado2018 Panhandle, Texas Tornado2018 Wilco-Dimmitt, Texas Tornado2019 Prescott, Arkansas tornado2019 Chesterfield, Missouri Tornado2019 Goddard, Kansas Tornado2019 Harper, Kansas Tornado2019 Salt Lake City, Utah Tornado2019 Sterling, Kansas Tornado2019 Hesston, Kansas Tornado2019 Lenexa, Kansas Tornado2019 Mulhall, Oklahoma Tornado2020 Oak Ridge, Tennessee Tornado2020 Athens, Mississippi Tornado2020 Vernon, Alabama Tornado2020 Steens, Mississippi Tornado2020 Plainfield, Illinois Tornado2020 Murphysboro, Illinois Tornado2020 Capitol, Montana Tornado2020 Washington D.C. Tornado2020 Oshtemo, Michigan tornado2020 Solomon, Kansas Tornado2020 Abilene, Kansas Tornado2020 Eustace, Texas Tornado2020 Granbury, Texas Tornado2020 Bradley, Oklahoma Tornado2021 Gladstone, New Mexico Tornado2021 Piedmont, Oklahoma tornado2022 Skidmore, Missouri Tornado
Hitman's 2019 Tornadoes
2019 Coleridge, Nebraska Tornado2019 Prescott, Arkansas tornado2019 Cotter, Arkansas Tornado2019 Chesterfield, Missouri Tornado2019 Goddard, Kansas Tornado2019 Harper, Kansas Tornado2019 Sand Springs, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Spiro, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Vinita, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Salt Lake City, Utah Tornado2019 Sterling, Kansas Tornado2019 Vian, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Hesston, Kansas Tornado2019 Lenexa, Kansas Tornado2019 Mulhall, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Parshall, North Dakota Tornado2019 Bridge Creek-Moore, Oklahoma Tornado
Hitman's 2019 EF4 Tornadoes
2019 Prescott, Arkansas tornado2019 Chesterfield, Missouri Tornado2019 Goddard, Kansas Tornado2019 Harper, Kansas Tornado2019 Salt Lake City, Utah Tornado2019 Sterling, Kansas Tornado2019 Hesston, Kansas Tornado2019 Lenexa, Kansas Tornado2019 Mulhall, Oklahoma Tornado
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