Train derails after high winds in Harvey County

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HARVEY COUNTY, Kan. (KAKE) -

High winds reaching up to nearly 70 miles per hour, just north of Newton along Highway 50, caused a train of about 140 cars to derail early Sunday morning. Some residents across the highway, in Walton, say they heard the whole thing.

Steven Johnson and his family live near Highway 50 in Harvey county. "We were just outside watching the storm roll in," he said. "We had to get inside pretty quick and the wind gusts come in pretty impressive."

Crews started clearing the railroad tracks around 5 a.m. Sunday and the Harvey County Sheriff's Department was out monitoring the situation all day. 

"This is going to be a multi-day event. But, the majority of getting the track clear and then starting to repair the track will probably occur at a later date either overnight or later tomorrow," said Sgt. Brandon Huntley of the Harvey County Sheriff's Department. 

It will take days to clean up the mess, but as of early Monday morning, KAKE News reporter Lacey Williams reports the tracks are back open. 

After high winds swept through Walton, the entire town was without power. Westar energy tells KAKE News the power should be restored by Sunday evening, "We have crews on site right now working to restore power. They expect to have power restored later this evening," said Kaley Bohlen, Westar Communications Specialist. 

With temperatures rising to over 80 degrees in Walton, people said those with generators make them feel fortunate., but many say they're used to this.  "Deal with it. I will probably be under the shade tree most of the day until they get the electric back on," said Vicky Henry, who lives in Walton. 

Johnson is taking his family to the lake to escape the heat, but he's sure his neighbors will lend a hand where it's needed. 

"Small towns, we hold together and take care of each other, "Johnson said. "Hey, if you guys need anything, just let us know. Any of us are willing to help out."