School officials highlight severe weather plans

Kingman High School has a plan in place for when severe weather threatens sporting events. (Photo courtesy KSN News)

KINGMAN, Kan. (KSNW) – Across Kansas, the threat of storms convinced school officials to reschedule football games, and many are underway right now.

One area bracing for the possibility of severe weather Friday is Kingman.

“I love my town, like to support my community,” said Jake Graber, Kingman High School alumni. “Got a lot of friends who have children that I’ve coached growing up.”

On average, Graber is one of about a thousand people who attend the Kingman High School football games. With severe weather possible, the district isn’t taking any chances when it comes to safety.

“We follow the rule that if lightning gets within 20 miles, we’re going to get people out of the stands and kids off the field,” explained Dr. Bob Diepenbrock, USD 331 Superintendent.

That’s just one part of the emergency action plan they’ve been using over the last several years.

“With the locker rooms available, we have four of them, we can put them in various places and make sure they are safe,” added Rollie Van Wyhe, Assistant Principal of Kingman High School.

Diepenbrock and Van Wyhe gave KSN a tour of the facilities that would be used should severe weather hit.

“You can see the type of dooring, has bolts that can go up into there,” said Diepenbrock.

That locker room in particular was deemed safe by a structural engineer in the past six months.

“If it’s a high wind event, anybody who wants shelter, we are going to give them the opportunity, it’s not just this side, but we have a girls locker room that looks just like it right on the other side,” said Diepenbrock.

Just down the hall, a gymnasium also serves as a shelter if weather gets rough.

“In terms of rain, lightning, moderate winds or anything, they are going to be safe in here,” added Diepenbrock.

It is safety measures like this that avid fans, like Graber, are appreciative of.

“I like to think they are at least proactive to the events that are possible of happening and it’s nice to know somebody is looking out for us,” said Graber.

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