People in southern Leavenworth County were cleaning up Wednesday, the day after a tornado passed through the Linwood area.

People in southern Leavenworth County were cleaning up Wednesday, the day after a tornado passed through the Linwood area.

Only three minor injuries were reported in Leavenworth County. Numerous structures were damaged.

“We’ve got 50 homes damaged,” said Kim Buchanan, deputy director of Leavenworth County Emergency Management.

She said 19 of the homes were completely destroyed. And Free State Growers, a commercial greenhouse business north of Linwood, was destroyed.

“It’s leveled,” Buchanan said.

She said pots from the business were found about 52 miles away in Smithville, Missouri.

Buchanan said barns and other outbuildings in southern Leavenworth County also were damaged by the tornado.

No one in Leavenworth County was transported to the hospital by EMS. But one person was taken to the hospital by family members after he was knocked down by strong winds in Linwood and broke his arm.

Buchanan said about 150 power poles were believed to be down in the county after the storm. Westar sent 45 truck crews into the county Wednesday to help restore power.

The tornado, which was said to have been up to one mile wide, entered Leavenworth County around 6:25 p.m. Tuesday after having touched down in neighboring Douglas County, according to county spokesman James Fricke.

Buchanan said the tornado entered southwest Leavenworth County and its path seemed to move along Kansas 32 Highway as it traveled east through the county. The tornado passed by the city of Linwood.

Preliminary information about the tornado from the National Weather Service was posted Wednesday on Leavenworth County Emergency Management's Facebook page.

According to the information, the tornado is classified as an EF-4 tornado. It had peak winds of 170 mph.

After touching down, the tornado traveled 31.82 miles as it passed through parts of Douglas and Leavenworth counties.

Outdoor warning sirens were sounded throughout the county Tuesday evening as the tornado was on the ground.

At one point, the tornado turned north before turning east again. Buchanan said officials initially did not know if the tornado was going to continue to travel north, which could have placed communities such as Basehor, Lansing and Leavenworth in danger.

The sounding of the warning sirens led to the cancellation of a Leavenworth City Commission meeting Tuesday.

City Manager Paul Kramer said commissioners will have a special meeting next week in addition to a study session.

Buchanan said public works crews from around the Kansas City area were in Leavenworth County on Wednesday to help with the cleanup efforts.

“Donations are coming in,” Buchanan said.

On Wednesday, Basehor-Linwood High School temporarily served as a drop-off location for donations of items such as bottled water, gift cards, trash bags and cleaning supplies.

Heart to Heart International, which is based in Lenexa, set up a mobile medical unit in Linwood.

Buchanan said The Home Depot store in Leavenworth sent a truck to southern Leavenworth County to distribute supplies such as tarps and bags.

Leavenworth County Administrator Mark Loughry said one of the biggest issues facing crews and other officials Wednesday was traffic congestion as people tried to visit the area impacted by the tornado.

He said many of the people wanted to help but “the best thing you can do is stay out of the area.”

Leavenworth County Undersheriff Jim Sherley said deputies from the Sheriff's Office and other assisting law enforcement agencies were trying to control the influx of traffic.

“We’ve had pretty good luck keeping the flow of traffic going,” Sherley said.

The Kansas Department of Transportation reported Wednesday on its Facebook page that K-32 was closed to traffic near Linwood to allow the highway to be cleared so crews could clear the highway for emergency personnel and response crews.

Sherley said law enforcement officials also wanted to safeguard homes in the affected area. He said looting is always a concern.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly released a statement Wednesday in which she said state officials will be working with local emergency management personnel to provide resources to areas affected by recent destructive storms.

“Kansas is experiencing a historic month of extreme weather – from tornadoes to heavy rain and flooding to severe thunderstorms,” Kelly said. “This is challenging for our emergency personnel and local officials across the state. I want to sincerely thank all of our local, state, federal partners and voluntary organizations who are working very hard, long hours to keep people safe, assist communities and give neighbors a place to shelter."

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR