The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued severe thunderstorm warnings for Midwest states including Kansas, Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska.
In the city of Wichita, the mayor said 50 to 100 structures had been damaged, especially in the suburb of Andover.
However there are so far no reports of serious injuries.
The Andover City Police Department says roads are blocked due to downed power lines and large debris.
Wichita Mayor Dr Brandon Whipple urged people not to travel.
“I’m hearing roads in Andover are closed to traffic. Please stay put if you can. Lots of large hail throughout our area. Bad visibility as well for those driving,” he posted on Twitter.
Extraordinary videos and photos posted online show the tornado tearing through Andover, destroying buildings, with debris flying in the air.
Videos posted to social media show the extent of the damage at the YMCA, with cars slammed against walls and the ceiling peeled back.
The Greater Wichita YMCA posted on Facebook: “The Andover YMCA branch suffered significant damage as a result of the storm that hit the Andover area this evening.
“We are thankful that all of the staff and members that took shelter at the branch at the time of the storm, were not injured.”
According to the Energy outage map, more than 22,000 customers are without power.
Kansas is in the heart of so-called “tornado alley” and is one of the most active regions in the world tornado-wise, according to the NWS,
Mid-to-late April through to mid-June historically has the highest tornado frequency, NSW records show.
Andover has just commemorated the 31st anniversary of a series of deadly twisters that killed 17 people and injured 225 in 1991. The EF5 tornado – the most intense rating – hit the ground for 69 miles (111km), and was one of 55 tornadoes that formed from Texas to Minnesota.