This newsletter was sent on: 6/13/2008

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Kansas East Conference
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Topeka KS 66604

Disaster Response Update - 6-13-08

From Julie Pohl, disaster response coordinator

Continuing Volunteer Cleanup Efforts - Manhattan, KS Update:
All volunteers wanting to assist with the continuing cleanup from the recent weather event should report to the west parking lot of Bill Snyder Family Stadium, near Cat's Closet, between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on Friday, June 13. Those volunteers should dress appropriately (long pants and shirts, work gloves if available) and will be transported to the affected areas.

In addition, all those with vehicles and equipment to use in support of the continuing cleanup effort should call 587-2489 or 587-2404 so they can be put in direct contact with those needing greater assistance. Any property owner or tenant needing this assistance from those volunteers with vehicles and equipment should call 587-2489 or 587-2404 to register for assistance.

City Cleanup Coordination
The City of Manhattan is coordinating cleanup efforts in response to the weather event on June 11-12. In order to expedite the pickup of this debris, please separate any items you may find into the following categories:

  • Tree limbs/brush
  • Wood/wood-based construction materials
  • Insulation
  • Metal/aluminum
  • Household appliances/electronics

These items should be moved into the right-of-way near the roadways abutting the properties where they are found. Please bag trash and other small refuse separately. Also, any personal belongings (pictures, diplomas, mail, etc.) or items of value should be marked, if possible, with the location they were found. These items will be collected at the Bear Computer Systems store in the Bluehills Shopping Center (contact Donna Albotello: 539-5777).

A list is being compiled of those willing to assist with the cleanup effort. Please call the City, at 587-2489, if you are available. There is no longer a need for volunteers today and a decision about the number of volunteers needed for tomorrow will be determined later.

For the elderly (60+) and caregivers of the elderly who need emergency assistance (food, temporary housing assistance, transportation assistance, completion of insurance forms, etc.) please contact the North Central Flint Hills Area Agency on Aging during business hours at 785-776-9294 or toll-free 1-800-432-2703 or after 5:00p.m. at 785-410-4454.

Photos of Manhattan damage
Here is the Manhattan Mercuryís photo gallery. You can also click on the link on the left on the website for reader photos.

Other damaged locations
While I am very concerned about the tornado damaged areas in Kansas, I am also concerned by the massive hail reports that many of our communities have been hit with over the past couple of weeks. Hail reports of up to softball size have been reported in numerous locations. Large hail does major damage to homes by destroying siding and roofs as well as breaking out windows.

I have had reports from Cedar Vale that damage from a hail storm which hit on Memorial Day has done some major damage to 149 homes. At least 25 of those homes belong to folks who are uninsured. This area needs our assistance. Some of the roofs have not even been tarped yet, so every rain that they receive is doing additional damage. I am sure that there are other locations out there that have also received damage, but I have not received any reports yet.

Flooding may be another concern in many of our areas, if your community is experiencing any flooding issues, please report in to me so that we can assist. I will send additional updates as information becomes available.

If you might be able to assist in any of these areas, please contact me. My contact numbers are: 785-989-3237 (H), 816-390-0324 (C),

Disaster Report 6-12-08

The following is a damage report from the State of KS which was published at 5:30 AM June 12. Please remember that these were preliminary reports only. If any of you have any damage reports, please forward them on to me at 785-989-3237 (H), 816-390-0324 (C),

Tornadoes throughout northeast Kansas Wednesday night resulted in two deaths, numerous injuries, and significant damages to homes, businesses and buildings in several counties.
A woman was killed in the town of Chapman in Dickinson County. She was found outside in a yard. A man was killed outside the town of Soldier in Jackson County. He was found outside of his mobile home.

Dickinson County
A tornado estimated to be a half mile wide hit the town of Chapman approximately 10:20 p.m. touching down on the southwest corner, moving through the center of town, and on to the northeast side of Chapman. Ambulances were brought in from nearby counties to assist in Chapman, and more ambulances were brought in through MERG, the Medical Emergency Response Group in the south central region.

State support to Chapman
Local officials in the town of Chapman requested the state provide an incident management team to assist them with response along with additional law enforcement to help with security. The Kansas National Guard is providing security support and also supplying a generator to run the water supply to ensure firefighters have water. Gas and power have been shut off in the town as a precaution to prevent incidents. Local officials have also asked for assistance with removal of downed trees and power lines from streets. Entrance to the town has been closed to the public to ensure the emergency crews have access in and out of the area.

The Kansas Department of Transportationís Communications on Wheels is operational in Chapman to support emergency communications needs and serve as the incident command communication system. The Kansas Highway Patrolís mobile command has also arrived in Chapman.

According to the American Red Cross, 60 homes were destroyed in Chapman, another 28 sustained major damage, and 30 more have minor damage. A shelter has been established in Sterl Hall in Abilene and victims will be brought to the shelter by bus. Another shelter has been opened at Webster Conference Center (in Salina). Preliminary reports indicate at least 200 people have been displaced.

Jackson County
In Jackson County, where one individual died, at least four homes were destroyed according to the American Red Cross. Homes were heavily damaged east of Soldier along 270th Road. A shelter was established at the fire department in Soldier. Highway 62 is closed to the public and the county is checking on residents door to door. Many trees and power lines are down across roads. The tornado path traveled from 254 & C Road to Hwy 16 and angled north to 286 & I Road.

Riley County
In Riley County, the city of Manhattan sustained extensive tornado damages resulting in some injuries. The tornado stretched from the southwest side of Manhattan, near the Manhattan Airport, and continued northeast through the center of town. Trees and power lines are down. Kansas State University sustained damage to several buildings. At least 100 people are seeking shelter in Portoff Hall in Manhattan according to the American Red Cross. A preliminary search has been completed, and the Kansas Highway Patrol conducted a search and rescue flyover at daylight.

Saline County
The Saline County Emergency Manager is reporting damage to at least two structures with many downed power lines and downed trees and many power outages. Structures damaged in Saline County include Phillips Lighting plant, a hotel, the Crestwood Cabinet plant, and a retirement home. No injuries are reported at this time.

State EOC activated
The State Emergency Operations Center in Topeka was activated Wednesday evening to assist counties and will remain operational 24/7 as long as necessary

Area Communications Office, 9440 E Boston, Suite 110, Wichita KS 67207
866-915-3638 or 316-684-3638; Fax: 316-684-0044