Wednesday, July 24, 2013
No injuries were reported after severe thunderstorm wind gusts, estimated at 80 miles per hour, caused widespread damage in Pretty Prairie Tuesday evening.
The storm moved through the Reno County town a little after 8:30 p.m. Pretty Prairie Fire Chief Rick Graber and other emergency responders were assessing the damage.
"(It) tore roofs off of several buildings downtown and the surrounding areas throughout town," Graber said. "(It) took out windows in houses, knocked over trees, knocked down power poles and powerlines."
Reno County sheriff's deputies and other law enforcement officers blocked access to the town as businesses were being boarded up and emergency responders went house-to-house making sure nobody was hurt.
"Nobody coming in and out, except the people that live here until we can assess the damage," Graber said.
Pretty Prairie resident Jess Stucky was in Hutchinson when the storm hit his town. He was on his way to buy lumber to finish his back deck and just missed a hail storm that caused extensive damage there. Stucky returned to find a damaged house.
"There's trees down everywhere," he said. "I've got siding ripped off my house and it's sticking in the neighbor's yard. I've got windows busted out."
He won't be surprised to find more damage Wednesday.
"I've seen some roof damage, but a lot of it's going to have to wait until the light hits it to find out just how bad it's going to be."
The same will be true for the rest of Pretty Prairie.
"When we get light and we can assess it visually a little bit better, we'll have a little more handle on how much total damage," Graber said.
Both Graber and Stucky said, given the amount of damage caused by the storm, they are thankful there were no injuries.