Maria Timmer shared photos giving an up-close look at the devastation caused by a terrifying tornado that ripped through northern Kansas this week.

Tom and Janet Whitehair were in their home when the tornado hit just north of Abilene Wednesday evening.

They survived by sheltering in the basement, holding pots and pans over their heads to protect from flying debris.

The entire house was ripped from the ground, leaving little more than the foundation and a mess of broken fittings and fixtures.

The tornado's strength was rated an EF4 - one rank under EF5, the highest - with peak winds of 180 mph. It lasted 90 minutes and carved a path of destruction for 26 miles.

The stats on Wednesday evening's Abilene-Chapman EF4 #tornado from @NWSTopeka #KS @foxandfriends @FoxFriendsFirst

About 20 homes in the nearby town of Chapman were damaged or destroyed, but no one was reported injured or killed.

"Numerous" miles of power lines were extensively damaged, along with a set of railroad tracks, Kansas officials said Thursday.

Follow Maria on Twitter (@sciencebymaria) and Facebook to track developments and more of her sightings.