$9.74 million in storm damage

Photos courtesy of Riley County Emergency Management

RILEY COUNTY — The preliminary storm damage assessment for Riley County is estimated at $9.74 million, according to a county news release.

A team from the Riley County Assessor’s Office and the Manhattan Fire Department’s Risk Reduction Division conducted assessments of 41 storm-damaged residential and commercial properties. A total of 20 properties suffered significant damage and 3 houses were declared completely destroyed. The total value of the properties surveyed is estimated at $26.8 million.

Riley County issued a disaster declaration effective June 11, 2022 for this severe weather event.

“We saw a lot of wind damage from this storm and a lot of debris,” said Russel Stukey, director of emergency management for Riley County. “When clearing your property, be aware that nails and other sharp objects are likely present along with roof debris and branches hanging overhead could pose a serious hazard. Wear protective gear such as gloves, hard-soled shoes, hard hat or hard hat, and eye protection.If you don’t feel comfortable doing the job yourself, hire a professional.

Public Works crews will continue to remove storm debris from public roads. In some areas, heavy equipment was used to push storm debris to the sides of roads to allow for traffic. County and city crews will work this week to remove all remaining debris from public roads and public property.

The Riley County Transfer Station will accept tree branches and other plant debris from residents free of charge. Regular hours are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. They will not accept structural debris such as roofing materials, building siding or bricks. Please contact your waste hauler for more information on how to safely dispose of structural debris.

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MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — High winds and storms forced crowds who gathered in a rural Kansas field for a symphony performance to evacuate and damage a sorority house at Kansas State University.

About half a dozen tornado warnings were issued Saturday night in eastern Kansas, the Kansas City Star reports.

Storm over Manhattan-photo Riley County Emergency Management
Storm over Manhattan-photo Riley County Emergency Management

Daniel Reese, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Topeka, said crews were on the ground Sunday morning, working to assess damage, including downed power lines and trees, likely caused by a combination of tornadoes and straight line winds,

About 7,000 people had gathered in a Chase County pasture for the Symphony in the Flint Hills, a popular annual event whose theme for 2022 was “Weather in the Flint Hills,” as storms approached.

Manhattan turned out to be one of the hardest hit areas, according to the weather service. Police have gathered reports of downed power lines and damage to buildings, including Chi Omega’s house.

At one point, more than 25,000 power outages were reported in Manhattan and nearby Marysville, Evergy reported.

Manhattan’s Hazard Reduction Division has declared five structures doomed and unsafe to occupy. The structures were located in the McCain neighborhood east of the Kansas State University campus. The two unoccupied Greek homes, Chi Omega at 1516 McCain and Kappa Alpha Theta at 1517 McCain Lane, and three single-family homes in the area were badly damaged. Residents of single-family homes were relocated but did not require assistance.

The Riley County Transfer Station at 1881 Henton Road opened at 10 a.m. today for people to clear tree branches and other plant debris. There will be no disposal fees. The station will remain open until at least 5:00 p.m. No roofing material, siding or other structural debris will be accepted. Contact your waste hauler for more information on how to safely dispose of structural debris.

Public works crews from Riley County, local townships and the City of Manhattan will work to clear storm debris from public roads. For help with tree branch removal on private property, contact the local tree service and landscaping companies.

When cleaning up storm debris, remember to wear gloves, hard-soled shoes, and follow standard safety precautions when using chainsaws and other power tools.

In Marysville, Police Chief Matt Simpson said while there was damage in the city’s downtown area, no injuries were reported.

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