Barton County residents rebuild following May 16 tornado

Tornado damage in Pawnee Rock, Kansas. Courtesy Kansas Highway Patrol

BARTON COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – Barton County residents are moving forward in an effort to clean up and rebuild following the tornado of May 16, 2017. A tabulation of storm damage dollar amounts is continuing, but as of today damage amounts are short of the threshold needed for a federal disaster declaration through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Before beginning permanent repairs to homes and buildings, property owners are reminded to obtain building permits from the appropriate jurisdiction. In addition, if the property is within a floodplain then a floodplain compliance process will need to be completed before a building permit is issued. Property owners within the city of Pawnee Rock should contact the city clerk for building permits and floodplain compliance information. Individuals can call the Pawnee Rock City Office, 620-982-4386.

Property owners within the rural areas of Barton County should contact Judy Goreham, Barton County environmental manager/zoning administrator, 620-796-4300, for information on building permits and zoning requirements. If the rural property is within a floodplain, the individuals should contact Barry McManaman, Barton County engineer, for floodplain compliance, 620-793-1808. If residents are unsure if their property is within a floodplain, either McManaman or Goreham can be contacted.

In an effort to help residents clean up their properties, the Barton County Board of County Commissioners waived fees for non-commercial waste at the Barton County Landfill. In order to qualify, Barton County residents need to provide the name and location where the debris came from. Landfill staff will perform visual inspections of the debris as it is brought into the landfill. Questions concerning construction and demolition disposal should be directed to Barton County Landfill staff by calling 620-793-1898.

Storm victims in the rural areas of Barton County who need help cleaning up properties should contact Barton County at 620-793-1800 with information on what help is needed. Effort will then be made to work with appropriate groups/agencies that can provide help in the upcoming days.

Individuals wanting to dispose of tree debris in the rural areas of Barton County need to contact the fire chief of their jurisdiction for a burn permit. Barton County 911 Communications may be contacted at 620-793-1920 for a list of fire chiefs.

Individuals who want to volunteer within the City of Pawnee Rock should contact Linda McCowan-Waite, Pawnee Rock mayor, at 620-617-7121.

Additional resources within Barton County are available for storm victims through local agencies. Victims are encouraged to contact these agencies directly for assistance.

  • Food Bank of Barton County
    For Food
    3007 10th St, Great Bend
    Mon, Wed, Fri: 1-3 p.m.
  • Hoisington Community Food Bank
    For Food
    2nd & 4th Monday of month
  • Ellinwood Food Bank
    For Food
    Mon: 2-4 p.m. Thurs: 4- 7 p.m.
  • Hungry Heart Soup Kitchen
    For a Hot Meal
    1515 Williams, Great Bend
    Mon – Fri: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Emergency Aid
    For Rent, Utilities, Lodging
    3007 10th St, Great Bend
    Mon, Wed, Fri: 8:30-11 a.m.
  • Catholic Charities of SW Kansas
    For Non-Food Pantry, Infant Needs
    2201 16th St, Great Bend
    Mon, Wed, Fri: 1-5 p.m.
  • Central Kansas Dream Center
    For Rent, Utilities, Lodging
    2100 Broadway Ave, Great Bend
  • Salvation Army
    For Clothing, Utilities
    2545 10th St, Great Bend
  • Barton County Health Department
    For Vaccines, STDs, Family Planning, WIC
    1300 Kansas Ave, Great Bend
  • Catholic Charities of SW Kansas
    For Disaster Response, Family Planning
  • Family Crisis Center
    For Domestic & Sexual Violence
  • The Center for Counseling
    For Crisis Intervention

Fundraising efforts for storm victims are being coordinated by the United Way of Central Kansas and the Golden Belt Community Foundation. More information concerning these efforts will be released later this week.

For additional questions or information contact Amy Miller, Emergency Management Director, 620-793-1919.