Seward and Timken Tornado Surveys

Late in the day on Tuesday May 24, 2011, tornadoes moved across Stafford and Rush counties.  The two most significant tornadoes of the day occurred northeast of Seward in Stafford county and near Timken in Rush county.  Tragically, the tornado in Stafford county claimed the lives of a mother and her teenage son who had sought refuge behind trees as the tornado approached.  The woman's 21 year old daughter  who had been in the backseat of the vehicle that they were in survived but sustained critical injuries.  The tornado moved north/northwest and caused EF2 damage with approximately 120 MPH winds.  Unfortunately, the tornado uprooted a very large tree and the tree subsequently fell on the vehicle that had been sitting in the driveway near Highway 281.  The house, just to the east of the vehicle, was severely damaged.  Other damage was done to another home nearby, and also to trees, oil tanks, pivot sprinklers and to out buildings.

Damage path of the tornado


Looking west at the south side of the home that was heavily damaged by the tornado near US Highway 281.

Damage to the house and trees near US Highway 281

Portions of the large cottonwood tree that fell on the vehicle.

Large tree that fell on the vehicle

The root ball of the tree.

The root ball of the large tree

The tornado in Rush county developed very rapidly and became very large (approximately 3/4 of a mile wide) quickly.  Minor damage was done to a home in the vicinity of where the tornado developed and then it ended up doing EF1 damage to trees and outbuildings as it traveled north and then finally northeast as it dissipated.

Track of the Timken tornado

Meteorologist Jonathan Finch from the National Weather Service in Dodge City  provided this image shortly after the tornado developed into a wedge.

photo by Jon Finch of the tornado just east of Timken


Jeff Hutton

Warning Coordination Meteorologist

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