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May be a week before state damage estimate is in

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, April 17, 2012, at 6:35 a.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, at 2:53 p.m.

More information

Early damage reports

According to the Kansas Adjutant General’s office some of the preliminary damage reports from across the state include:

Barton County – Power lines down

Butler County – Large trees uprooted in El Dorado, causing damage to homes and vehicles

Chase County – Utility poles broken

Cherokee County – Minor wind damage

Dickinson County – Power lines were downed and a home was damaged

Edwards County – Signs down and debris blown around; minor flooding and some irrigation equipment was flipped over

Ellsworth County – One home was destroyed near Langley; one trailer destroyed and power lines down

Ford County – Hail knocked out windows in Kingsdown

Harper County – Power lines down; some outbuildings destroyed

Harvey County – Several outbuildings were damaged and power lines knocked down

Hodgeman County – Three homes with minor damage; outbuildings destroyed and damage to an irrigation system; power lines down

Kiowa County – Two homes destroyed; five homes damaged; power poles down

Marion County – One home destroyed, two damaged; outbuildings destroyed and power poles down

Marshall County – Power loss to approximately 200 residences in Bremen and Herkimer

McPherson County – A home on Avenue W near Marquette was destroyed; damage reported to outbuildings

Mitchell County – Some power lines down and outbuildings damaged

Ottawa County – Damage to tanks at a gas transfer station and some outbuildings; power lines down

Rush County – Three farmsteads had damaged or destroyed outbuildings; one home was damaged in Loretta and one farmstead was damaged in the Bison-Timken area

Russell County – Trees and power poles down resulting in power outages primarily in the Lucas and Luray communities plus isolated rural customers; K-18 was temporarily closed due to power lines on the road

Saline County – Ten homes and one business damaged

Sumner County – One unconfirmed report of a house damaged

Stafford County – Damage to some farm homes; power poles down, outbuildings destroyed, farm equipment damaged and several circle irrigation systems flipped over

It may be at least a week before the total damage estimate is available from each of the 39 counties affected by Saturday night’s storms.

Once that information is obtained, state officials can determine whether Kansas will qualify for federal assistance, said Sharon Watson, spokeswoman for the Kansas Adjutant General’s Department.

The Kansas Division of Emergency Management will be contacting affected counties to gather information on the amount of damage sustained.

“We’ll be working closely with the county emergency managers to make sure all damages are collected,” said Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, the director of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management and the adjutant general.

Besides Sedgwick County, some of the counties hardest hit include Rice, Edwards and Kiowa counties.

Rice County officials reported several buildings were damaged and debris blocked some minor roads. Four separate tank batteries near Second Avenue and Avenue H were damaged, releasing 50 to 100 gallons of oil into a containment area. The Sheriff’s Office was damaged and the jail roof was blown off; prisoners were transferred to off-site facilities.

“I’ve seen tornadoes since I was a kid,” said Jim Gray, a longtime rancher from Geneseo, cowboy historian and publisher of the Kansas Cowboy newspaper. “But that’s the first one I’ve seen of that size. It touched down on a farmstead directly south of me and took everything, all the buildings are gone except the house. You could just see how that tornado followed the valley and ripped trees to shreds as it went.”

Most of the damage he’s seen out in the county has included destroyed machine sheds and machinery such as combines and tractors.

“Those aren’t cheap,” Gray said. “And, there’s been a lot of lost livestock, cattle out in the pastures that got caught in the storm.”

Once the counties provide the state with damage reports, the Adjutant General’s Office will determine which assistance programs may be available, Watson said.

“All sectors will be looked at — housing, business, agriculture and public sector damages.”

Reach Beccy Tanner at (316) 268-6336 or btanner@wichitaeagle.com

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