Residents clean up after storms move through area


AUGUSTA, Kan. (KSNW) – Severe weather dumped large amounts of hail and rain in parts of Kansas Tuesday morning.

“I was actually in bed. I was supposed to get up and go to work at midnight, so you’re waking up out of sleep with the thunder and you look out and you see this and your wife’s hollering to get to the basement,” said Mike Norris, who lives near the corner of 75th Street and Santa Fe Lake Road in Butler County. “Because you know, the winds like you say, you could see about thirty feet, you couldn’t see anything past that.”

Mike and his wife, Maryann, are now cleaning up. He runs the chainsaw, while she picks up limbs large and small.

“The water has been this high only once before. It didn’t get into the house, but the sump pumps are working overtime. They don’t turn off,” said Maryann. “Last night it was so dark, I couldn’t see anything.”

Those overnight storms blew very hard through Butler and Cowley Counties. Residents near Santa Fe Lake in Butler County said they estimated that five inches of rain had fallen in the last 12 hours.

The wind is what caused most of the problems, however. Healthy trees are down by the dozens. Small and very large trees.

“We got a few shingles off the roof. But mostly it’s the trees. Just look at this,” said Charlene Towne, who lives close to the Norris family. “This is kind of devastating. We’ve gotten some ice storms that have damaged the trees but we just trimmed them up. I’ve not had anything like this.”

While Charlene and others were dealing with downed trees and one downed power pole on Santa Fe Lake Road, residents of Augusta saw a very large amount of tiny hail. The hail was still visible hours later in the early afternoon in Augusta.

“I’ve got probably sixty trees down,” said Ryan Schweizer who lives off Santa Fe Lake Road. “I was taking this video and I told my kids it was time to hit the basement. It just got crazy.”

Emergency workers reported that a few roads were closed early Tuesday morning but the water is crested for now. They are just hoping they don’t get any more rain.

“No, that’s it. No more,” said Towne. “We’re done with the rain.”

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