CLAY COUNTY — Response agencies and property owners across the Northland are working Friday, Aug. 16, to clean up yards, stabilize structures and repair damage as a severe thunderstorm in the overnight hours of Thursday, Aug. 15, resulted in property damage to churches, businesses, houses and apartments.

The severe weather system, reported by the National Weather Service, brought with it heavy rain, whipping winds and hail from northeast Kansas City toward St. Joseph.

Kansas City

Believed to be caused by straight-line winds, damage that included metal roofing being twisted and ripped from the back of Kansas City Church, at 7700 N. Church Road in Kansas City near Liberty, left piles of insulation strewn about for passersby to see on their morning commute Friday.

“Our custodian discovered it and got a hold of me,” said Lead Pastor Kevin Jerls as church administration team members were on site cleaning out the building.

While damage was suffered on the back and side of the roof and near an entrance, Jerls said roofing and construction companies were called to secure the facility. Worship services were expected to take place as planned on Sunday, Aug. 18.

No injuries were reported.


In nearby Liberty, severe storms wreaked havoc on trees, downing limbs onto roadways and yards, and causing trees to fall on residences.

Volunteers from the American Red Cross were on hand at Wilshire Apartments off Belmont Street Friday morning, providing aid to those displaced by storm-related roof damage.

At Ferrellgas' office, located off Stewart Road, about a half dozen trees were downed, causing about $10,000 in damage, said Mark Flynn, an account manager and arborist for the company.

Tawni Bross, who lives in the Place Liberte subdivision near Missouri Highways A and 291 in Liberty, said trees were knocked down throughout her neighborhood. No major damage was reported.

"We only lost power for a few minutes," she told the Courier-Tribune via Facebook.

At the intersection of Liberty Drive and Conistor Lane, crews from KCP&L worked to restore power to residences and a traffic light after the storm damaged trees and powerlines.

“There are a few houses throughout the town that have tree damage. Wilshire Apartments does have some roof damage. We had a lot of trees down but no real accidents or fires. No one, to our knowledge, was injured at all, which is great,” said Liberty Interim Fire Chief John Mills.

Smithville Lake

Clay County administrators and parks staff were working Friday to clear downed trees from Smithville Lake area roadways, said Assistant County Administrator for Public Services Nicole Brown.

Due to 70 mph winds at Smithville Lake Thursday night, Brown said the D dock at Camp Branch Marina also sustained damage.

"Some of the fingers of the dock, which are what come out around the boats, were lifted, which caused the metal to twist. Some of the pavers broke," she said. "... The canopy at D dock was lifted with the wind gust, which caused the metal to ripple and peel back in a place."

While county property was damaged, Brown said no personal property sustained damage and no injuries were reported.

In nearby Smithville, Ladoga Ridge Winery, located at 100 E. Pope Lane, it was reported that five rows of of the vineyard were blown along with a glass wall in a pavilion. Tables and chairs were also broken although power was never lost.

While damage was done, owners made quick work of clean up.

"We are now in great shape," owner Leinda Haddock wrote Friday afternoon on the Courier-Tribune's Facebook page,

Weather on the horizon

National Weather Service is forecasting a 90% chance that more rain, up to 2 inches, will hit Liberty and the surrounding area again after 9 p.m. Friday. A 50% chance of rain is also expected Saturday, Aug. 17.

"Some of the storms could produce heavy rain. ... Mostly cloudy, with a high near 88. Heat index values as high as 96. Breezy, with an east, northeast wind 9 to 14 mph becoming southeast 15 to 20 mph in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 28 mph," states the NWS forecast at

Managing Editor Amanda Lubinski can be reached at or 903-6001.

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