Residents of southwest Wichita deal with the aftermath of the Sunday tornado

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WICHITA, Kansas — Residents in southwest Wichita are dealing with the aftermath of an EF-1 tornado that barreled through that part of town Sunday afternoon.

But residents here were not taken off guard by the storm. Chuck Walton and his family were in their basement when the tornado ripped through their neighborhood.

“When you live in Kansas, that’s just one of those things that’s going to happen,” Walton said.

He said that, though it was devastating to see the damage, it wasn’t scary because they knew what to do.

“No sooner than we got in the basement, we saw heavy wind and heavy rain and after it subsided we saw that we had sustained quite a bit of damage.”

Added Walton, “It was kind of devastating to see what it did, but not frightening.”

Three homes in total on 119th between 47th and 55th South were seriously damaged by the tornado, leaving behind shriveled silos, torn-out trees, and downed power lines that forced the closure of several roads in the area.

Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter advised people to stay away from that area until crews can clear the damaged power lines saying, “We do have all these roads shut down because of all the lines that are down over the roads. Clearwater Road or 135th will be shut down for quite some time.”

Now that the storm has subsided, these homeowners are faced with the task of cleaning up after the storm. “We’re going to have a lot of clean-up to do. It’ll be all summer long,” said Walton.

Deputies blocked off roads as Westar Energy officials worked to restore power and clear the downed power lines. They are anticipating the cleanup to carry into Monday.

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