Northeast Kansas Counties Recovering After Tornado Damage

June 19, 2013

Northeast Kansas counties that were hit by a tornado and flooding in late May are waiting to hear if storms caused enough damage to make the region eligible for state or federal aid.

An EF-2 tornado hit Marshall County on May 27, causing significant damage to some businesses and 28 homes in Marysville. Tornadoes also touched down in Nemaha County on May 28 and flooding was reported across the region after rains of 9 to 12 inches. The storms did not cause any serious injuries, but a preliminary estimate determined the storms did between $5 million and $6 million damage, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

A twister with winds of 130 mph leveled Precision Truss, a lumberyard and truss company, and did significant damage to Oregon Trail Equipment, which is back in business while rebuilding its main offices near Marysville. The storm also downed power lines and damaged 28 homes along an eight-mile path through Marshall County. A smaller tornado struck northwest Marysville, damaging roofs of buildings and a city cemetery, said Bill Schwindamann, director of Marshall County Emergency Management.

On May 28, tornadoes touched down in Nemaha County and heavy rains caused flooding throughout the area. An EF-3 tornado destroyed one home near Corning and an EF-1 tornado damaged six more homes between Corning and Goff, said Todd Swart, director of Nemaha County Emergency Management.

A preliminary estimate puts damage to Nemaha County’s infrastructure at about $1.1 million. That estimate does not include businesses or homes damaged by the storm.

With about a dozen townships still not tallied, Schwindamann said the preliminary estimated damage to public infrastructure in Marshall County at $450,000.

Schwindamann and Swart said county roads and bridges in their respective counties were damaged by flooding that followed torrential rains.

Marshall County will find out in the next few weeks if it meets the federal or state thresholds for disaster aid, or if it can qualify for aid by combining tornado and flood damage with other northeast Kansas counties affected by the storm, such as Nemaha, Brown and Washington counties, Schwindamann said.

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