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Detailed damage assessment released for Saturday night’s tornado

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, April 20, 2012, at 12:23 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, at 2:53 p.m.


How to volunteer

Register with United Way at the Oaklawn Activity Center, 4904 S. Clifton, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Volunteers are asked to wear appropriate clothing, including sturdy shoes.

Church groups that want to volunteer can sign up through kansastornadorelief.com

How 88-year-old Pearl Sipult survived a tornado that blew apart her house

Click here to see the video in full screen or to e-mail to a friend.

How you can help tornado relief

The United Way of the Plains has established a relief fund to aid in the long-term recovery efforts from damage caused by Saturday’s tornado.

The entire donation to the Tornado Fund will go to tornado recovery assistance. No administrative fees will be charged. Donations can be made online at www.unitedwayplains.org/tornadofund. Checks payable to United Way of the Plains Tornado Fund can be mailed to United Way of the Plains, 245 N. Water, Wichita, KS 67202. A $10 donation can be made by texting REBUILD to 80088.

The Kansas Division of Emergency Management advises people who wish to donate to call the United Way 211 number. Calling 211 from any number will allow people to donate money, goods, service or volunteer to help.

United Way of the Plains has established a new, ongoing location for the volunteer reception center. Beginning Wednesday, volunteers wishing to help with tornado cleanup are asked to report to the Oaklawn Activity Center, 4904 S. Clifton, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Volunteers should be at least 14 years old. Some projects require volunteers to be at least 18. Volunteers are asked to bring any tools they would like to use for cleanup work.

Volunteers wanting more information, may call 211.

Spirit Aerosystems works around the clock to bring the plant back on line.

Click here to see the video in full screen or to e-mail to a friend.

The EF-3 tornado that tore through Oaklawn and southeast Wichita late Saturday night caused an estimated $146.3 million in damage to residences and businesses, according to an assessment released by Sedgwick County officials.

The tornado, which was about a mile wide at its widest point and had maximum winds of as much as 165 miles an hour, touched down at 10:21 p.m. Saturday at about 79th South and South Shady Creek Circle just south of Haysville. It began moving north-northeast and then northeast for 13.2 miles before lifting northeast of Central and Greenwich Road just before reaching the K-96 bypass at 10:42 p.m.

Along that path, the tornado damaged or destroyed 776 residences and 86 businesses, and affected another 3,481 residences and 165 businesses, county officials said.

Eleven homes were destroyed and another 66 homes and 11 businesses sustained major damage. Another 690 residences and 60 businesses sustained minor damage. Mobile homes were not included in figures for residences, because they are classified as personal property. In the Pinaire Mobile Home Park, 92 mobile homes received more than 50 percent damage.

The tornado also destroyed power poles, street signs and traffic signals.

Westar Energy reported losing 181 power poles to the tornado, and Sedgwick County officials said the county lost 10 traffic signal heads and 32 street signs. The city of Wichita estimated that it will need to replace six traffic signal heads and 72 traffic signs.

The most significant damage to city property happened at a sewer treatment plant on South Hydraulic, where a large chunk of the roof was ripped away. The city still is estimating that cost. Power to the plant was lost briefly but quickly restored that night.

Costs to replace damaged signs and signals range from $150 to $600 per unit. A crosswalk signal that was destroyed at Oaklawn Elementary School on Clifton, south of 47th Street South, will cost $50,000 to replace, the county estimates.

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

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