Storms bring hail, damage in western Kansas

Southwind Drilling shed damaged in Ellinwood. (Photo courtesy Katie Morgenstern)
Power lines were knocked down in Garden City on Friday. (Photo courtesy William Widows)

FINNEY COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – Storms are affecting much of the state today and through the night. So far, Western Kansas is one of the hardest hit areas.

In Finney County, high winds tore a roof off a school and knocked trees down.

Tree limbs caused damage to multiple vehicles as well.

“It (tree limb) fell on her van. On top of her van,” said Jonathan Wehkamp, Garden City resident. “It broke in the back window and smashed the top pretty good, so I don’t know. It might be totaled, but we’ll see. More than likely it is.”

While damage levels vary, Georgia Matthews Elementary School might have gotten some of the worst of it.

The roof was blown off of Georgia Matthews Elementary. (Photo courtesy KSN News)

“We have almost a quarter of the building. It’s probably, I don’t know. It’s hard to say the square footage, but blew a rooftop unit off and pulled some of the roof off with it,” said John Geist, Director of Facilities for USD 457.

“I think we can have it ready for school on Monday. It won’t be back together 100 percent, but it’ll be safe and secure for the students to come in,” added Geist.

Geist said at this point, parents of students shouldn’t worry. He also said a power pole is leaning over Gertrude Walker Elementary School but Garden City responders are already taking care of it.

Tennis ball sized hail in Hanston. (Photo courtesy Misti Alexander)

Hodgeman County was also affected by large hail and stormy weather.

According to Hodgeman County Emergency Manager Mike Burke, approximately 15 to 20 power poles are down between Jetmore and Hanston. Trees are damaged and privacy fences are also down. Jetmore is experiencing power outages.

K-156 is now closed from Jetmore to Hanston.

Golf ball and tennis ball sized hail has also been reported.

Ellsworth County is also experiencing damage from the storm. EMS in Ellsworth County say 10-15 power poles are down along K-4 at the Ellsworth McPherson county line.

The video below was taken by Salem Kern in Great Bend. 

RELATED LINK: Storm Photos: October 7, 2017

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