- Associated Press - Friday, April 24, 2015

FAIRPORT, Kan. (AP) - Tornadoes have touched down in sparsely populated western Kansas as a severe storm system moves through the Midwest.

The National Weather Service says the first tornado was confirmed around 5 p.m. Friday near the unincorporated community of Fairport, which is about 20 miles northeast of Hays. The twister was moving east at 15 mph, and meteorologists were predicting that it would remain over mainly rural areas of northern Russell County.

A tornado also has been spotted near the small unincorporated town of Modoc in Wichita County. There were no immediate reports of damage.

Meteorologists say conditions are favorable for the formation of tornadoes in about 40 other counties in the state. The storm system also is churning up 60 mph winds and hail.

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