HAYS, Kan. (KSNW) – The storm Tuesday night in Hays rolled over the town with very strong winds.
“The storm just looked like it was rolling over and over,” said Mandy, who was cleaning her front lawn with her kids. “My neighbor wasn’t home so we moved the limbs out of his yard.”
Mandy did not take her kids to middle school Wednesday because school was canceled.
“We had some windows out at the middle school,” said Hays USD 489 Superintendent Ron Wilson. “But primarily, we had several school buildings with so much water inside. The water pushed in under the doors in many places.”
Wilson said his custodians and others worked until 1 a.m., but they made the decision to cancel classes.
“With so many limbs down across town, we just made the call for safety,” said Wilson.
At the Ellis County Fairgrounds, the west bleachers were tossed like toys from the winds.
“Those will have to just be removed and then replaced,” said Tom Frost, Grounds Manager at the fairgrounds. “And we have already talked to insurance about it.”
The fairgrounds also lost a concession stand, and there is debris scattered across the grounds that volunteers are cleaning.
Volunteers converged on the Celebration Community Church after much of the roof was peeled back in the storms.
“My immediate reaction was sour and tough but changed quickly when I saw church family and community rally around and showed up,” said Celebration Community Associate Pastor Derek Mayfield. “We had so many people last night and so many today to help with some cleanup.”
With tree limbs removed from roadways early in the day, many volunteers just stepped in.
“We went over to the middle school and saw windows busted out,” said Hays resident Jessica Rybeck. “We’re picking up some tree limbs and stuff that came down for other people here in Hays.”