TREGO COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – Storms ripped through parts of Trego County Thursday night, dumping a lot of rain and large hail.
The western town of WaKeeney may have been the hardest hit. The small town suffered many damages, notably a flower shop and greenhouse on Barclay Avenue, which was left barely standing.
“Just kind of the roof in here, I kind of already started tearing, this guy has to be torn down, too, now,” explained greenhouse owner Andrew Miller. “Ehh, it is what it is.”
Miller usually picks 150 pounds of tomatoes daily, but last night’s storm put a stop to that now. He’s trying to remain optimistic while sifting through all of the debris.
“It is what it is,” said Miller. “God provides everything.”
The heavy hail also destroyed crops, bringing bad news for farmers who have already been struggling in recent years.
“With some of the prices we have right now, prices are real low, and if farmers didn’t take enough insurance out,” said Trego County farmer Don Riedel. “Basically it’s just a loss, it’s a waste.”
That crop loss has a ripple effect on other sectors of the ag industry.
“Looking into the fall or winter, what you’re going to feed your cattle with, it’s just devastating, not only to the farmer but to the rancher and the cattle man,” explained Riedel.
Meanwhile, WaKeeney is in cleanup mode.
“Everybody’s just working like crazy,” said WaKeeney Mayor Kenny Roy. “They’re (crews) gonna be working at least a week cleaning up the streets and the alleys, and a lot of the homeowners are cleaning it up themselves.”
City cleanup is expected to take at least a week, maybe longer. Mayor Roy also said he’s never seen a storm this bad in WaKeeney, not since a tornado in 1951.
NOTE: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that WaKeeney has only one flower shop.