Tornado captured on video ripping through Kansas
Storm damage in Harveyville, Kansas.
February 29th, 2012
12:21 PM ET

Tornado captured on video ripping through Kansas

Last night, a system of devastating storms swept through the Plains states, leaving trails of destruction in Missouri,  Illinois and Kansas.  Take a look at some storm-related video that's come in from the region, including one of a tornado touching down in one Kansas county.

Reno County, Kansas

Storm chasers capture footage of a tornado touching down in Reno County, Kansas. Watch the funnel cloud form and lightning flash in this nighttime video.

Harveyville, Kansas

The small town of Harveyville, Kansas, was especially hard hit. This video shows the devastating damage that the town faces the morning after a suspected tornado struck. The town, which is about 20 miles southwest of Topeka, has declared a state of emergency. Nine ambulances were sent to the scene, according to the American Medical Response.

Edgar Springs, Missouri

Residents of Edgar Springs, Missouri react to damage in their town. See a flattened burger shop and listen to one man describe what he did when he heard a tornado coming.

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Filed under: Illinois • Kansas • Missouri • Natural Disasters • Tornadoes • U.S. • Weather
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. NeoGraphix

    Tornados are deadly but having one strike in the night is worse.

    February 29, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul46

      Neo–setting aside all querulous science arguments here, thank you for leaving your message. I sympathize with you. I was only in a couple of twisters in Michigan (mild by your standards) & they were terrifying–especially at night. Hey, take care, be well.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • pmn

      Yes, very scary. Living in Texas I know. There is nothing like a tornado warning or one making the windows breath to set your nerves on fire! I had a twister pop off my front porch flew up in the air came down missing the power lines and landed on the side street. The insurance adjuster said..oh that was just high wind. I told her look at the thin line of missing roof shingles on each of all four house at beginning of the street and it ended on my porch. This happened in Central Texas the same year of the Jarrell tornado at night which is 15 miles North of where I live. I really thought the windows were going to bust out. But as quick as it came it left once the porch popped off the freight train noise and wind was gone. Tornado's are so bizarre..I guess that's why so many peope are fascinated with them.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • jenny1980

      .....terrifying.....

      February 29, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. HeidiLiz

    I don't care what you deniers say. I have lived my whole life in Kansas – we have always had tornadoes, but NEVER like this. The ferocity, the timing, the speed with which they hit – it's all wrong. Climatologists predicted this – warm and cool air are just a few degrees more different than they used to be, and it is causing more extreme storms. Rain is falling harder and faster instead of drizzling out over a few days. Tornadoes are stronger and more frequent. We grew up learning where the "safe places" are in a tornado, and I have never been very scared of them. After the events of the last few years, especially Joplin, I am scared. They are so strong now, there is no "safe place" if you are in their path. There was nowhere for many people in Joplin to go – that tornado was so strong it didn't matter. It's time to stop listening to politicians and listen to scientists – though the politicians have been able to deny it for so long for corporate gain that it seems it is too late.

    February 29, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • A scientist

      I'm afraid you're incorrect. Tornadoes are no more intense than they were. (And yes, I've lived in Kansas myself). We've been unfortunate in recent years that large, strong tornadoes have impacted more urban areas, and we hear about them more often due to the 24/7 news cycle. Consider that some of the largest tornado fatality counts are from the early 20th century, long before global warming was an issue.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Curlee

      NEVER like this? You mean in your lifetime. But unusual weather trends can reoccur over periods of hundreds, or thousands of years. I'm not saying global warming due to humans does not exist. But I am saying people tend to be short-sighted and consider only the years they can remember. Earth is over 5 billion years old. I am positive there have much much more devastating weather patterns than these tornado outbreaks.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wo0F

      Higher casualty counts has more to do with a lack of understanding (education) and the fact that the technology for forecasting severe weather has improved.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      You maybe right! But then again who knows? Not the scientists who say more were killed early in the 20th century. Of course they didn't have early warning or today's construction materials back then.....and didn't live in bigger more densely populated towns like today! My guess is they are a little stronger and more publicized today!

      February 29, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      People need to quit talking with such hyperbole about these things. Tornadoes have been happening for as long as the earth's climatology has allowed them to happen.

      The off the charts death toll from last year was not the result of tornadoes getting more powerful, it was the result of tornadoes hitting populated areas. The Joplin tornado and the Hackleburg and Tuscaloosa-Birminghams tornadoes from April 27 were responsible for more than half of the year's fatalities. Had these tornadoes made their footprint elsewhere, they would not have likely caused the carnage that they did.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • mm

      It never fails, someone will always throw politics in the mix.
      And I suppose bad weather is Obama's fault too, right?

      February 29, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dott

      You are so right Global Warming is fact. All one has to do it consider all that human's do to our little ball in the sky and it makes sense. Of course there are those who make more money off of polluting our skys and water ways so naturally they will cry foul but people with any intelligence know better. Global Warming is real and not fiction.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon Bernstein

      @A Scientist – you are right that these severe tornadoes are not a new phenomenon, but when you point to the high fatality counts from the early 20th century, you are missing the fact that this isn't necessarily due to the severity of the storms but also because we did not have radar back then and, consequently, nothing remotely comparable to the kind of warning systems we have today. While today's warning systems are hardly perfect, they save a lot of lives – in the past, most people generally didn't know a tornado (or tornado producing storm) was in the area until they were under it.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary11

      Also, regarding damage from storms earlier in the century, buildings were not constructed with all the earthquake reinforcements that we have today. Wood houses just splintered, and were lifted off their foundations. Brick buildings disintegrated. My thought is, if this person claiming to be a scientist actually 'was' a scientist, they would have taken this into consideration before making such sweeping dismissive statements about the 'facts'. The fact is, weather patterns ARE changing. The data bears this out, and any "qualified" scientist today knows this.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • tom

      The other reply is correct, this is tragic, we now have cameras everywhere 24-7. We as a people are more spread out than ever before. There are large subdivisions and towns today where there was nothing 10 to 20 years ago. The more we spread out the more you will see these things. Not because the Earth is 2 degrees warmer, which has been proven false due to cherrypicked data to fulfill a money agenda, but because we are everywhere and all of us have phones w/ video capture.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Q

      Cigarettes do not harm you, evolution is a myth, the sun revolves around the earth, people and dinasours used to live together. I think I know where all this comes from..............TEAMERICA

      February 29, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob W

      Curlee is right. Earth is billions of years old, and we're only relying on weather records 1 or 2 hundred years old. Thats a wicked gap in the timeline to pinpoint any accuracy of weather, unfortunately. Godspeed to those affected by this recent wave of devastation.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • loliwinyoulose

      I'm a kansas resident and a meteorology student. THis is not from man made global warming. This is from La Nina, this will be the 2nd year in a row the NATURAL cycle of lanina is affecting us.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • jenny1980

      HeidiLiz....I concur! I'm a military brat from leavenworth and one of the funnest things my friends and family would do..(this sounds so lame) was to go outside and watch the storms in the summer....and we could do this relatively safely for years..Late summer 2011 was an entirely different story...never in my Kansas life have I backed away from my bathroom window with such terror during a thunderstorm where the rain, wind and lightning was so violent that I thought my face was going to be blown off.....just sayin'.....get ready...

      February 29, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Think4Yourself

    given the fundamentalist christian's tendency to say things like,"the 9/11 World Trade Center attack is god's way of punishing america for the gay agenda and abortion," i wonder if tornadoes ripping thru red states like kansas, who want to roll back science and put creationism in the classroom, is god's way of punishing them for their ignorance and intolerance.

    February 29, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • HeidiLiz

      That's a very ignorant and intolerant thing to say. You're lumping all Kansans in with fundamentalist evangelicals just because the state goes red in elections. I have lived here my whole life and I don't know a single person who believes what you said about 9/11. Please don't hate on a place you have obviously never been and know nothing about.

      And the creationism issue was, of course, hyperbolized by the media. Many of us thought that was ridiculous and fought against it.

      And for the record, I hate the way people who live in blue states think their s*** doesn't stink. I lived in California for a while and hated it. Everyone was so rude and hostile and pretentious. They pretend to be compassionate liberals while sweeping problems like homelessness under the rug. I am liberal, but I would choose to live in a "red state" like Kansas any day. At least people are nice and care about each other and their community.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      That's about as dumb as saying earthquakes are punishment for blue state liberal voting West Coasters. Geography doesn't know any politics dude, so how about you leave it out of this.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris

      I bet you know 0 fundamentalist Christians. What does fundamentalist even mean? I bet you don't know. It means they believe the fundamentals of the bible. Just like a football players knows the fundamentals of his game. I am a southern Baptist and if anyone is a fundie, it's us. My preacher has never once said 9-11 was God's punishment on anyone. I think you saw westboro baptist and assume they are actually Christians. Why don't YOU try reading the bible. If you did,you would know that those folks are what we fundies call pharisees. If you don't know what pharisees are, then you have no idea about the bible, or fundies or anything else to do with the Christian faith. The people that got plowed over by a Tornado are people who WORK for a living. They pay taxes, they grow your food and they live hard lives. The intolerance I see comes from people like you. Who can't understand how someone can believe differently than you do. Next time you want to chuck the intolerant rock, check a mirror, pot.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charles in Des Moines

      I would tend to agree with him. Yes, you are all right, and yes I do know some fundies, there are even some in my family. But here's the deal, I remember hearing people like Pat Robertson and such spewing that earthquakes are God's punishment on the people inflicted with them, it happens all the time, However, you are so adamant that it doesn't never say anything then.

      Secondly, I have no problem with your religion, as long as you live by it and leave me out of it. However, these days, there is a constant barrage of stories about states governments wanting to roll back the clocks on birth control, voting rights, and gays, and even a few,,,,oh hell, who am I kidding, ALL of the Republican candidates have spewed it so far, stopping short of actually calling for a day of execution. But that will not surprise me. I don't care if you don't like me cause I am gay, that's fine, but stop trying to convert me or strip me of my rights.

      Oh, and as far as the uber-myrtr act about putting you all together for your religion, I am gay, but more importantly I am an American, why should it matter. But then you see preachers and politicians lumping me in with child molesters, animal rapists, and basically asserting that I have no morals. So yes, as someone said, perhaps you should look in the mirror before throwing that stone Pot.

      I sincerely doubt that God, if she exists, is punishing anyone, but its only logical that when your side says that an earthquake in Haiti is God's punishment for some past or present sin, then its only logical that when a tornado wipes out a portion of the Bible belt then it would be applied to them. But you are right, I don't think they are being punished, personally I think the whole religion thing is a weak minded, scared person's way of justifying what in reality is just a series of random events to give their tiny little lives more importance and make themselves feel better, kind like a drug for the soul, and from what I see just as destructive to society as crack cocaine.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • loliwinyoulose

      Actually it's christians that headed the lawsuit to get creationism out of school classrooms in the very popular california debate.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dee

    I live in Massachusetts and we never had tornadoes to speak of until 6/1/11. No one is safe from Mother Nature these days.

    February 29, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      Sure we have, in the 1950's a large Tornado ripped through Worcester....it's been talked about for over 50 years as THE worst Tornado in MA history. Last year we had another 50 year type Tornado event, it happens, it's natural.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Oh The Inhumanity

    I think places are much more populated than before. 24/7 news, with everyone being a storm chaser. I'm sure many have gone untold

    February 29, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mr Agreeable

    I agree with everyone.

    February 29, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. baorddog

    I hear what you are saying but here's a view from Florida. Last year we saw no hurricanes cross the state and just had the mildest winter in many years. I believe weather change is a natural occurrence and takes many many years for a major shift to occur. My opinion.

    February 29, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. BOMBO ©

    If tornadoes are now being caught on video, does this mean they need to be more careful, like cops?

    February 29, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • sally

      lol. hopefully they dont start tweeting pics of themselves to the NWS

      February 29, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • tom

      Just what we need. A viral video of a violent tornado running through town with its cone hanging out on Youtube!!There's a mental pic 4 u.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Truth

    The climate deniers on here are so woefully ignorant and well funded 😉

    February 29, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • YouNeedToThink

      People deny the climate exists? Is that what your little parrot brain is saying? Who are these people that deny the climate? Al Gore? He makes stuff up about a climate that does not exist. It's above your level of comprehension. Mine too. We don't really know what kind of climate change we're facing in the future. We could be at the start of a 100,000 year cycle. Maybe the end of one? Who knows. You can't do anything about it though. No, taxes don't help the climate.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. lalann

    Take it back to where it needs to be because lives were lost and destroyed. I never understand why it has to become a bickering session.

    February 29, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Scottish Mama

    Harrisburg Illinois, Mayor, Police chief, Ameren electric and gas people were just on, the town was hit like in Joplin, Mo. It looks like a pile of rubble. Reporting 6 deaths so far. It hit during the night, which is always tragic because people are sleeping like someone suggested above. It is said it had hit Carbondale to its west. I was wondering if Drak and his boy are okay?

    February 29, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Debby

    Prayers to all those people in the midwest.

    February 29, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Scottish Mama

    Missouri has always had tornatoes, I remember them as a child and going into the basement. I think we hear about them more because we have more sprall of towns and citys. We have alot more people and homes to hit.

    February 29, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Chasj1974

    The only thing I have to say to the ones on here attaching this disaster to gods wrath, politics, climate change, etc. is to grow up. I grew up in Harrisburg IL and my family still lives within 10 miles of where the disaster occuried. Thankfully, they are alright but there are at least 10 comfirmed dead and 100's of people injured. Take the time to show some compassion for the people in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Kentucky, etc. that have been affected by the weather outbreak. Instead of bickering over non-sensical issues that have no relevancy to the disaster, try being a compassionate human and post stories of compassion, caring, and understanding.

    February 29, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stephenson

      Thank you Chasj1974.

      I grew up in Rockford Il, and was there when the Belvidere tornado struck in 1967. I assure you, hearts and prayers in Missouri are with you today.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Stephenson

    As someone who has been close enough to be sitting in my basement while both last night's, and the Joplin tornadoes ripped by within a few miles or less of us, I can tell you we weren't thinking it was liberals, conservatives, or God, we should be blaming.

    When the lights went dark and rumbling started again last night we were all hoping and praying for the best, and worried about our family, friends, and all of our neighbors. Waking up and seeing the damage around us is pretty scary.

    One thing is for sure, if you live here you know that there has been an increase in both the number and ferocity of these storms over the last 20 years. This may indeed be due to normal weather patterns. None of us have lived long enough to know, or it may be a result of climate change due to human behavior. Scientist say it is the latter. I say it's unwise to dismiss them without serious study and flat out stupid to attribute it to God and his desire to punish us.

    While others debate that, we live with what is happening, and I assure you all, it is very real.

    February 29, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
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