Tornado Hits La Crosse, Buildings Damaged, Destroyed

By: KAKE News Email
By: KAKE News Email

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Right at the center of town in La Crosse, you'll find damage almost anywhere you look. The people who survived the tornado say they can't believe a storm that lasted only seconds, could cause so much destruction.

"You just hear rattling and roaring and then our ears popped, and then it quit,” Dawn Schaben said.

“I'm just happy to be alive. I've never been that scared in my life,” Rob Schaben said.

The Schaben's home has a shattered window and a tree branch sticking through their roof. Just a block over, the businesses along Main Street have a little longer clean up ahead of them. The car wash is crumbling and the hair salon is missing it's roof, but Rush County's only grocery store may end up suffering the biggest loss of all.

At least half of the groceries at Rick's Food Store will have to be tossed.

"Kind of disheartening, but you can't risk glass being in anything, we have glass all over,” owner Rick Weigel said.

Even while the people of La Crosse picked up the pieces of their homes and businesses, everyone we spoke with said the same thing. It could have been worse.

"That's all I care about is my family and we all made it out alive and thank God nobody has gotten injured," Dawn Schaben said.

Rush County will begin picking up all the piles of tree limbs Tuesday. The emergency management director also say they're going to help the La Crosse residents with all the rest of the cleanup by supplying equipment if they need it and allowing them to take all their trash and debris to the landfill free of charge.

UPDATE: Friday, May 25, 2012

Rush County officials say a tornado touchdown in La Crosse has caused significant damage but no residents were hurt.

Emergency Management Director James Fisher says the tornado touched down at approximately 9:30 p.m. Friday night in the area of 5th Street and Main Street in the La Crosse. The damage was contained to an area approximately four blocks in size.

Fisher says two buildings were damaged, including a private storage facility. One building, a car wash and three mobile homes were destroyed. At least two vehicles were damaged and there is significant tree damage in the area. No injuries have been reported.

Power lines on the north and south sides of town have been knocked down. Fisher says some power lines are on the Highway 183 so no traffic is being allowed in or out of La Crosse.

Fisher says at least seven tornadoes were reported to have touched down in Rush County. Damage is still being assessed in the rural parts of the county.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Tornado damage has been reported in La Crosse, Kansas. The tornado hit after 9:00 p.m. Friday

KAKEland Storm Chaser Eric Duncan reported significant building damage on the southwest side of the Rush County community.

There are no immediate reports of injuries.

Rush County's Emergency Management Director said one building was destroyed and at least one other suffered extensive damage. There is heavy tree damage in a 4-5 block region in the central part of the town.

At 10:30 p.m., Highway 183 was closed to traffic through La Crosse.

The tornado was part of a storm system that moved slowly through Central Kansas.

The holiday weekend could begin with severe weather in parts of the state.

The Storm Prediction Center has placed much of Central and Western Kansas under a slight risk of severe weather.

The storms that develop late this afternoon could produce up to baseball size hail and wind gusts up to 70 miles per hour. Tornadoes are also possible.

Jay Prater is monitoring the conditions from the KAKEland WeatherPlex.

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