Thunderstorms bring damaging winds, power outages over weekend

Fred Young of Independence heard the weather report Friday evening.

He could not believe it.

“A tornado watch in December,” Young said. “I’ve never heard anything like it.”

There may not have been a tornado, but damaging straight-line winds – which caused more than 45,000 Kansas City Power & Light customers to lose their power; 17,000 customers did not regain power until late Saturday – took a toll.

“I heard this loud pop and a crash and knew something wasn’t right,” Young said.

An oak tree in his back yard had fallen, smashing a shed he had finished this past summer. He said he had spent several months gathering the materials and building it.

“Put a lot of blood and sweat into it,” Bloch said. “Now, I guess it’s time for the tears part.”

One day after temperatures hit the 66 degree mark (breaking the previous Kansas City area record of 63 degrees set in 1954), snow fell, peppering the Young lawn with a thin white blanket.

On Sunday, the temperature climbed into the mid-40s under fair skies.

Young said he used to be a non-believer when it came to global warming.

“We keep having the type of weather we’re having, and I’m going to become an activist,” he said.