WILSON, Kan. (KAKE) - One person person is dead and three others were hurt when a severe storm hit Wilson Lake overnight, flipping campers parked at the lake for Independence Day.

Russel County Sheriff Andrew Van Der Wege said numerous 911 calls were received after the storm hit at approximately 11:52 p.m. Wednesday. Callers were saying multiple campers had been blown over. 

During search and rescue efforts, authorities say they found three people injured who were transported to local hospitals and 64-year-old Christopher Montoya of Holyrood, Kansas, was found dead in the Hell Creek Park area.

The sheriff's office said Thursday morning that clean-up efforts were underway. Everyone who goes to Wilson Lake is encouraged to use caution due to debris that may be on the roads, parks and in the water.

Power was interrupted in parts of Minooka Park due to the storm and was expected to be restored shortly, authorities said.

People who need assistance in getting campers, boats, or other property recovered are encouraged to call 911 so the Russell County Sheriff’s Office, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, and the Army Corps of Engineers can assist.


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Authorities in central Kansas say multiple campers were flipped as a severe storm hit Wilson Lake overnight.

The National Weather Service said on social media at 11:15 p.m. Wednesday that the storm was approaching with penny-sized hail and possible 60 mph winds.

A wind gust to 70 mph was measured at the airport in Russell. Russell is about 20 miles southwest of Wilson Lake. Keith Harberer, the Emergency Management coordinator in Russell County, said winds were easily over 70 mph. 


Harberer said at least four campers around the lake were flipped and others were damaged. He said there was also the report of a roof blown off in Ellsworth County. 

Some on social media claimed there was a fatality associated with the Russell County storm, but Harberer said he's received no reports of injuries or a fatality. 

Russell County Sheriff Andrew Van Der Wege said at 9:30 a.m. that more information would be provided soon. The Ellsworth County Sheriff's Office said any storm damage reports would be provided on Friday. 

The high wind gusts eventually spread southeast through the early morning hours with numerous gusts in the 60 to 75 mph range. McPherson measured a gust at 75 mph, and a gust just north of Maize was clocked at 59 mph.

Damage to trees was reported in Newton.