Spring storm dumps hailstones in Kiowa, Edwards and Pratt counties

Jennifer Stultz
A white blanket of hail covers the ground in northern Kiowa County late Sunday afternoon towards evening. High wind gusts, torrential rain and mostly pea-sized hail surprised some as it accumulated up to 5 inches deep in some places. Some wheat fields were damaged by the deluge.

A late afternoon storm passed over Pratt on April 19 dumping

heavy rain and lots of pea-sized hail. Rain was almost horizontal for a time and caused gutters to run full, overwhelming storm drains for a time. The storm was part of a system that moved across south central Kansas and brought rain from Great Bend down to Medicine Lodge. Pratt received 0.70 inches of rain.

Edwards and Kiowa counties were hit with substantial amounts of hail that accumulated as much as 4-5 inches deep on the ground. Some was from nickel to quarter size to about one-inch in diameter.

The storm stretched from Lewis to about Greensburg, damaging wheat crops in those areas. A field with 8 inch-tall wheat was flattened by the deluge of hailstones, according to a Facebook post from Melinda Kurth.

Kiowa County residents also experienced the spring storms that included rain, gusts of wind and hail.

“I have not ever seen that much hail come that quickly,” said Kaye Hardinger, who lives northwest of Haviland.

Hardinger said most of the hail in their area was about the size of a pea, but some was 3/4”. Luckily, no damage was done to vehicles or roofs, because the hail was pretty soft. The plants around Kaye’s yard didn’t fare so well, though.

“The sound was loud enough that we couldn't hear each other talk without shouting,” said Hardinger.

Kurt and Kristi Whitney, who live south and east of Haviland, had similar experiences. On Saturday night, Kristi witnessed more hail than she ever had in such a short amount of time. Luckily, there was no damage to the property.