As power and water service begins to be restored, citizens of Reading, Kan., are beginning to clear away the debris left behind after an EF3 tornado struck their community May 21. Preliminary damage estimates are as follows:
· * 110 Total residential buildings evaluated
· * 26 buildings destroyed
· * 30 buildings with substantial damage - limited entry & uninhabitable
· * 10 buildings damaged but habitable
· * 44 buildings minor or no damage
· * $1,150,410 Estimated damage valuation of residential buildings evaluated
Commercial (including schools)
· * 21 total commercial buildings evaluated
· * 10 buildings destroyed
· * 4 buildings with substantial damage - limited entry & uninhabitable
· * 7 buildings damaged but habitable
· * $1,133,993 estimated damage valuation of commercial buildings evaluated
Safety inspectors are determining if homes are habitable. If the structure passes a safety inspection, residents have been allowed to return to their homes.
To facilitate the handling of debris, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued these guidelines. All debris should be moved to the curb and separated into the following piles for pick up:
· * Trees, limbs and brush
· * Large household appliances
· * Asphalt, concrete, concrete with metal reinforcement, cinder blocks, bricks, dirt
· * All other construction materials, including roofing, wallboard and other mixed construction debris.
· * All other waste materials, including clothing, furniture, trash, perishable food or foodstuffs.
Household hazardous waste should be segregated from other debris, preferably in a box, and stored at the curb. Lyon County intends to run pickup routes a few times each day. This includes:
· * Explosives (ammunition, black power, fireworks, etc.)
· * Pressurized gas cylinders (propane tanks and aerosol cans)
· * Containers of cleaning products and chemicals
· * Pesticides and herbicides
· * Swimming pool chemicals-particularly chlorine
· * Batteries
· * Paint and paint thinners
Reading residents are being instructed to boil tap water before drinking until further notice. An alternative method of purification for residents that do not have gas or electricity available is to use liquid household bleach to disinfect water. The bleach product should be recently purchased, free of additives and scents and should contain a hypochlorite solution of at least 5.25 percent. Public health officials recommend adding 8 drops of bleach (about ¼ teaspoon) to each gallon of water. The water should be stirred and allowed to stand for at least 30 minutes before use. Water purification tablets may also be used by following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Lyon County Community Organization Active in Disasters (COAD) and the United Way are coordinating volunteers to help with cleanup and any other necessary jobs. All unaffiliated volunteers should call the United Way 2-1-1 telephone number. Volunteers will be instructed on needs and when and where to report to help. Volunteers should not report directly to Reading, but must call 211 first.
The 211 number may also be utilized for anyone wishing to donate items to help the residents of Reading. The list is always changing, but 211 will have the most current list. The current needs are:
· * Tarps
· * Plywood sheeting
· * Sunscreen
· * Bug spray
· * Gloves
· * Racks
· * Shovels
The Emergency Management Immunization trailer has arrived in Reading and is located in front of the Post Office on 1st Street. They will be offering tetanus vaccinations to injured persons first, then emergency personnel, then to volunteers and the public, while supplies last. The operation hours will be posted on the message board located on 1st Street in front of the grade school.
Individuals wishing to give financial assistance to residents of reading should go to ksready.gov