Eureka tornado wreaks havoc one year ago today


The Eureka tornado caused widespread damage exactly one year ago on June 26th, today giving residents and city officials a chance to reflect.

The EF3 tornado hit several homes and businesses in the town. Some of that damage is still visible today with fallen trees and hanging branches. One resident said the tornado hit his home, and he still sees some tree damage in his front yard everyday causing him to remember the night it hit.

"It was kind of scary," said Loren Wools. "I was sitting in here on the sofa and I heard the sirens and I only had about 15 seconds to get to the hallway and all the sudden the windows just started blowing out."

According to Wools, he has experienced several tornado's including one in Topeka that hit his parents home in the 1960's when he was little. After experiencing others, he said this one didn't faze him.

"I'm a two time Vietnam veteran so tornado's are no big deal to me," Wools said.

He just got done fixing up his home recently, giving him a chance to remember those that helped overall around the town.

"There was plenty of help from everybody and good support from volunteers," he said.

According to city officials some homes have been rebuilt, and there are plans to build more in the future. However, there are still some parts of the town that are under construction and city officials said they need help.

"Yeah, continuing help, it's difficult," said Ian Martell, administrator for the city of Eureka. "We're still trying to raise money for certain people who were impacted in the tornado and lost their homes."

Construction continues at places like the Eureka Junior Senior High School football field, that they had to rebuild due to debris contamination, according to Martell. After all the damage the town had, Martell said they still came a long way quickly with the clean up.

"With the help of volunteers and everybody that came in and offered to help, we got a lot done in a short period of time," Martell said.

He said this allowed them an opportunity to think about the future projects that are in the works today at the high school, and around town.

"They're moving ahead on it," he said. "It's starting to take shape, it's taking a long time, but it's starting to take shape."

According to Martell, they are still struggling with debris disposal so they are taking help from anyone that offers.