An historic wind storm swept through the state Wednesday causing widespread damage.
The strongest wind was clocked in Russell at 100 miles per hour. In Salina, Wichita TV Station KAKE’s satellite weather station on Sante Fe clocked 98 MPH wind. The National Weather clocked a peak gust at the Salina Regional Airport of 89 MPH.
The wind caused considerable damage across Salina. Trees, branches, power lines, power poles, fences, signs, portions of roofs and other various objects were down in multiple areas. There were widespread power outages, and the city was urging citizens to stay home.
A shelter was established for residents who need shelter or power for medical devices at the Webster Conference Center located at 2601 N. Ohio.
Other communities experienced similar damage. Officials say 100-mile-per-hour wind gusts led to damage in Russell. Significant damage was also reported in Great Bend, where roofing was torn from the high school and a church steeple came toppling down. The winds also tore the roof off the gymnasium at Caldwell Elementary School in southern Kansas. In Manhattan a large community Christmas tree came crashing down.
Wildfires are also impacting parts of Kansas. A large grass fire broke out in northwest Russell County, and residents in the Paradise, Fairport and Waldo areas were told to evacuate as a precaution. Another wildfire was reported near Highway 183 in Ellis County, and officials say residents in the city of Ellis were being asked to voluntarily evacuate from their homes in the west side of the community. Residents were also asked to evacuate following a grass fire in Sheridan County.
(Top photo submitted by Ashley Brooks – A tree blown onto a house in Abilene)