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Friday, April 18, 2014

Minor storm damage in Butler County, officials say

By Stan Finger
The Wichita Eagle

As the sun rose on Sunday morning, Butler County authorities were expecting to find extensive damage from the tornado that struck the night before.

They found almost no damage at all.

“We’re sitting here going, ‘Wow, how did that happen?’ ” Butler County Emergency Management director Jim Schmidt said.

A tree blew onto a house near Andover, he said, and another tree blew over onto a car in El Dorado. Other than that, officials are finding only minor tree damage.

“Boy, you would have thought there’d be a lot more damage,” Schmidt said. “It’ll be interesting to see what the weather service’s damage survey teams find.”

Eastern parts of Butler County are still being surveyed, Schmidt said.

“We’re just not seeing power lines down, not seeing any damage in the Andover area, where we really thought we’d see some damage,” he said.

For at least a while, Saturday night’s tornado followed a path remarkably similar to the F5 tornado that hit Haysville, south Wichita, McConnell Air Force Base and Andover on April 26, 1991. That’s why Schmidt was expecting to find far more damage in and near Andover.

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or sfinger@wichitaeagle.com.

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