At least 9 homes destroyed in Tuesday's tornado

Authorities assessing damage in Barton County

BARTON COUNTY, Kan. - 9 homes were destroyed after a tornado touched down in Barton County Tuesday night.

The tornado hit the town of Pawnee Rock around 8:15 p.m.  Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir was in Pawnee Rock.

The sheriff tells our news partners at KWCH 12 that the tornado traveled at least 10 miles along K-4 highway towards Hoisington.  Two homes in Pawnee Rock were destroyed, seven others were damaged.

There is roof a tree damage to the Pawnee Monument. The Praise Ranch Christian children's home, a religious organization, was also damaged by the tornado, but no one taking shelter inside was hurt.

Seven homes were destroyed and two others have heavy damage in portions of rural Barton County.  At least one person had minor injuries in the Great Bend area, but they did not need medical assistance.

Barricades are still up in some areas due to downed power lines.  Authorities are asking sight seers to stay away from damaged areas.

A team from the National Weather Service rated the tornado an EF-3.

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Emergency crews in Barton County are working to assess the damage after a tornado tracked across the county earlier Tuesday night. 

The tornado entered the county near Pawnee Rock around 8 pm, where Storm Team 12 chaser Scott Roberts reported the storm blew down large trees, signs and power poles. A representative with Barton County Emergency Management tells KFDI News one person has been injured and two homes were destroyed. Later, the county posted to social media that seven homes were destroyed. 

The tornado continued tracking northeast, narrowly missing the town of Great Bend. It crossed K-96 highway west of town where it brought down transmission lines across the highway. 

As it continued moving northeast, the storm brushed by the west side of Hoisington. Storm Team 12 chaser Eddie Aldrine reported trees and power lines down on one mile of the city. 

A disaster declaration was signed and approved by county commissioners at 8:24 pm. 

The number of damaged or destroyed structures may increase as crews assess the damage Wednesday morning.

National Weather Service officials are looking at damage along the tornado's path to come up with a rating for it.

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