Volunteers help Pretty Prairie clean up from damaging storm

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PRETTY PRAIRIE, Kansas – Residents in Pretty Prairie are cleaning up after Tuesday night’s storm. Almost 100 mph wind, hail and powerful rain made a mess in town.

“Half of it, the storm took out, so we had to take the other half down because it was leaning toward the house,” said Linda Streight, referring to a full-sized tree that landed in her front yard.

Main Street was one of the hardest hit areas.

The entire façade of one building was destroyed.

Volunteers spent the day cleaning up what was left and starting a large pile of debris on the side of the road.

The  movie theater building, owned by the city, also sustained significant damage.

“Most of the roof is gone because all the ceiling tiles in the auditorium are falling or fallen. There’s about an inch of water in the projection booth, even though it’s a steel booth, holes at the top of it so when the roof went above it it leaked onto the equipment,” said Darrell Albright, Pretty Prairie Theater Manager.

Westar Energy crews were out working round-the-clock to restore power.

They are hoping residents would have electricity by midnight.

Residents say it’s the strongest storm they’ve ever dealt with and are glad that they’re already receiving support from their neighbors.

“We have volunteers from the town, from the country. It’s incredible how many people have shown up just to help with the clean-up of limbs, branches and debris,” said Fire Chief Rick Graber, Pretty Prairie Fire Department.

Residents are confident they can recover from the storm Tuesday night.

“We’ll recover; that won’t be an issue,” Graber said. “We’re pretty resilient around here and have proven that by the way people from throughout town and throughout the surrounding areas have shown up to assist.”

There were no injuries reported.

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