The cleanup process continued Thursday following a tornado that ripped through southern Leavenworth County.

The cleanup process continued Thursday following a tornado that ripped through southern Leavenworth County.

Crews referred to as task forces continued to pick up tree debris in the area impacted by Tuesday evening’s tornado. And utility companies continued to work to restore services, according to Leavenworth County Emergency Management officials.

“We kind of do this in phases,” Chuck Magaha said of debris removal.

Magaha, who is the director of Leavenworth County Emergency Management, said focusing on tree debris first helps utility workers clear their lines from trees.

Residents have been placing debris in right of ways at the edge of their properties to be hauled away by the crews.

“We’re going to work until Friday on tree debris,” Magaha said.

He said crews may start picking what is referred to as construction debris on Monday. Construction debris includes materials from damaged structures.

In addition to Leavenworth County personnel, workers from the city of Leavenworth and other municipalities in the Kansas City metropolitan area are assisting with the debris removal.

The hours of operation for the Leavenworth County Transfer Station, 24967 136th St. in Lansing, have been extended to assist residents with debris removal. The station will remain open until 7 p.m. each day through Saturday. The last load will be accepted at 6:45 p.m., according to information posted on the Leavenworth County website.

The tornado, which touched down in neighboring Douglas County, entered southwestern Leavenworth County at about 6:25 p.m. Tuesday. The tornado’s path seemed to follow Kansas 32 Highway as it moved northeast. The tornado remained on the ground until shortly before the storm crossed into Wyandotte County.

According to the National Weather Service, the tornado had a maximum width of one mile. It reached peak winds of 170 mph. The tornado resulted in what is classified as a EF-3 level damage in Douglas County. The storm gained strength and produced EF-4 level damage in Leavenworth County.

Magaha said the tornado traveled about 18.5 miles while it was on the ground in Leavenworth County.

Only three minor injuries were reported in Leavenworth County. The tornado damaged about 50 homes as well as one business, according to Kim Buchanan, deputy director of Leavenworth County Emergency Management.

Magaha estimated Thursday morning that about 40 percent of roads were fully open in the area of Leavenworth County that was impacted by the tornado. He said other roads had one lane that was passable.

Leavenworth County Emergency Management announced Thursday on its Facebook page that Sherman Township Fire Station No. 2, which is located in Linwood, was serving as a staging area where people could pick up items they needed. Donations of bottled water were no longer needed Thursday afternoon. But donations of items such as trash bags, tarps, rakes, shovels and protective gloves and eyewear were being accepted.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR