Wichita city officials confirm damage from Saturday’s earthquake

Wichita city hall parking garage (KSN News)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell and city staff talked about earthquake damage with the media on Tuesday. The 5.6 earthquake in Oklahoma Saturday morning, could be felt in much of Kansas.

“A significant earthquake that had literally shaken many of us out of bed,” said Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell.

The earthquake hit near Pawnee, Oklahoma, south of the Kansas state line, around 7:02 a.m. The city said it had damage assessment crews out the door about a half hour after it happened.

Cracks were found in buildings in the city hall parking garage and a parking garage for the convention center attached to Century II. They also found cracks in the concrete structure leading to the underground facilities section of Century II, along with a broken window at the downtown library.

Alan King, with Wichita Public Works, said water pressure dropped immediately after quake. They are still researching why.

“Whether that was water moving around in water facilities because of the quake, we don’t yet know, but the pressure stabilized quickly,” said King. “None of these (damages) appear to be structural. They appear to be mostly appearance. They will be repaired and we continue to look at our facilities. It will take us about a week to get through everything.”

City officials also confirmed there was minor damage with some cracking at Patrol North, as well as cracks and minor ceiling damage at the Wichita Art Museum. The Alford Library had sheet rock damage. The Rounds and Porter storage building also suffered damage.

Wichita has earthquake insurance for $25 million. The city would have to pay a $250,000 deductible first, in order to get paid for damages. So far, a dollar amount in damage hasn’t been determined.

The only damage the county could find, so far, includes a broken window on the exterior of Intrust Bank Arena, according to A.J. Boleski with the Intrust Bank Arena.

Oklahoma officials reported minor to moderate damage. Saturday’s earthquake tied for the largest in the state of Oklahoma. As a result, 37 wastewater disposal wells were shut down.

People all over Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas reported feeling the quake.

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