SELDEN, Kan. (KSNW) – The Sheridan County Emergency Management said a tornado caused damage in the town of Selden on Monday around 6:30 p.m.
The emergency manager reported trees down, buildings and homes damaged, a train overturned and a silo destroyed. There were no injuries Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Tod Hileman said.
The Sheridan County Fire Training Chief Steve Hirsch said when the power went out, the tornado sirens did not sound and first responders had to alert the community. As a result, it was a close call for one firefighter after a power pole crashed into the back window of the truck. He said without these crews, the aftermath could have been much worse.
“This town will rebuild, and it’ll be just as strong as it was before, because of the people that live here. They’ve survived droughts, and they’ve survived tornadoes, and they’re going to survive this tornado,” said Hirsch.
Sheridan County Sheriff Brandon Carver said 38 properties have major damage and another 84 have minor damage.
“It appears that the tornado was somewhat up in the air, maybe not on the ground, so it kinda skimmed over the top of us. Had it been on the ground, it would’ve been a totally different picture here,” said Hirsch.
The Sheridan County Road and Bridge Department and local fire departments are working to cut down branches and clear debris. Machines are hauling them off to a burn pile south of town. Gas and electricity were restored to most homes and businesses.
“It’s been overwhelming, not only on manpower, but we’ve been so fortunate with surrounding communities, whether it’s fire, EMS, law enforcement, wildlife and parks, KDOT, this whole thing takes a lot to keep the operation going,” said Sheriff Carver.
Selden homeowners are working to board up windows and cover roofs that were damaged. One of the main concerns is rain still to come that could cause water damage. Residents are taking it one step at a time and are thankful their families are safe.
“I didn’t really feel like it was anything too crazy till you walked out the door, definitely an eye-opener that it can happen to anybody,” said Gabrielle Schiltz, Selden homeowner.
The National Weather Service was in Selden surveying the damage, and the mayor has signed a disaster declaration
In a tweet Monday evening, Kansas Senator Dr. Roger Marshall said, “Glad to hear everyone is safe. My office has been in contact with officials and stands by ready to assist those who need help.”