Lindsborg students team up to clean up flood damage

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LINDSBORG, Kansas – Herbert Johnson has lived in Lindsborg  for more than 20 years.

He says the heavy rain Monday night is something he couldn’t prepare for.

“About 4 o’clock it all came across here, and within 30 minutes to an hour and a half, all of our basements were flooded. The water was all the way to the ceiling in here so it’s like seven to eight foot ceilings.”

The high water left the Johnson’s basement in shambles.

To aid with the cleanup, Smoky Valley High School football coach Chris Hattabaugh brought 30 of his players as well as 15 girls from the school.

“It’s just basically been demolition, breaking down walls and hauling stuff out.”

Joe Rifai is a senior at Smoky Valley High

He says while it has been hard work, it is a true testament of how tight-knit the community is.

“It’s hard to explain, it’s almost like one big family almost, to see that somebody would come out and help a stranger.”

Help which Johnson says he is truly grateful for.

“Can’t believe young people are that interested in helping people work, but that’s just kind of the spirit.”

While cleanup crews have worked all day, they say their work is far from being done and they’ll continue to go house to house to help pick up the pieces.

Officials in a central Kansas community now estimate the damage from this week’s flash floods at $3.8 million.

Lindsborg officials issued the new estimate Wednesday following additional inspections of homes that were inundated Monday when up to 5 inches of rain fell in roughly an hour. The initial estimate was $2.5 million.

The city will hold a public information meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at Smoky Valley Middle School. The meeting will focus on assistance, cleanup, sanitation and health issues.

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