Weather News

Here’s something the Linwood tornado did not destroy: $20,000 in cash

The day after a tornado ripped through Linwood, Kansas, Beverly and Clint Hulse headed to her 90-year-old great-uncle’s home to rummage for clothes, a lawn mower — and $20,000 in cash.

Apparently, he was in the habit of keeping wads of cash in a shirt, something “old people do,” Beverly Hulse, 41, of Olathe, said with a laugh on Wednesday.

The elderly Linwood resident had heard the tornado Tuesday night and headed for his basement. But he was too late.

He was knocked down and blacked out, Hulse said. When he woke up, he realized he was buried under something and pushed it off. He walked outside and sat in his car for a moment, in shock.

An ambulance could not get through to the area at the time, she said, so her father drove him to a hospital for fractures on the right side of his face, bruising and a puncture in his right arm. He was released Wednesday afternoon.

Hulse said she was crying as she drove up to the house initially. But she said her great-uncle, a veteran, has “got nine lives.”

Hulse went to collect a lawnmower and other items from the home. Her father mentioned that her great-uncle kept thousands of dollars in a missing shirt, so she and her husband began turning over tables and picking up clothing scattered in the front yard.

When her husband, 46, found some of the money, Hulse cursed in excitement.

“Did you find more?” she asked minutes later.

Her husband held up more envelopes of money. Within about 20 minutes, they had already found about $16,000 of the $20,000.

“He didn’t tell us what all he had,” Clint Hulse said with a grin. “I can’t believe this.”

Tuesday night a tornado traveled from the southwest corner of Douglas County through the Lawrence area to Linwood, in Leavenworth County, injuring about 20 people between the two, as well as tearing apart buildings. Another tornado touched down near Kearney in Clay County and moved toward Excelsior Springs.

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Luke Nozicka covers local crime and federal courts for The Kansas City Star. Before joining The Star, he covered breaking news and courts for The Des Moines Register.