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Cleanup Begins in Chapman, Manhattan

TOPEKA (WIBW) Residents over a wide area of Kansas are
cleaning up after yet another round of violent weather in a
record-setting storm season. Click Here for the latest viewer photos

So far this year, more tornadoes have been reported in Kansas
than any other state -- 172.

Hardest-hit was Chapman, where one woman died Wednesday night when a tornado six blocks wide tore up the town of 1,400 about 70 miles west of Topeka. It damaged or destroyed 60 percent of the town's buildings to the tune of an estimated $20 million.

A shelter has been set up in Abilene, she added, where victims were being taken by bus.

Elsewhere, a tornado struck southern Manhattan, where officials
say 45 single-family homes were destroyed.

The twister also wound through the campus of Kansas State University, overturning cars and blowing out windows.

Kansas State University officials say storm damage to the campus will exceed $20 million.

KSU vice president for administration and finance Tom Rawson said Thursday that ``Roofs have been damaged or torn off, windows have been blown out in many buildings.''

He said Weber Hall was severely damaged, and the Wind Erosion Lab was destroyed. here was also significant damage to the engineering complex, and to at least four other buildings including Ward Hall, which houses the university's nuclear reactor.

Rawson said the reactor was undamaged.

School officials say the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house is heavily damaged, but all residents are safe.

Thursday classes were canceled, while freshman orientation and enrollment activities remained the same and were moved to Bramlage
Coliseum.

Riley County Police Lt. Kurt Moldrup told Kansas City TV station WDAF Thursday that several Manhattan businesses are damaged or destroyed and 30 homes are leveled. He credits warning sirens before the storms hit Wednesday night for a minimum of minor injuries.

Lee Elementary School suffered severe damage, to its main building and both annexes. One woman, claiming to have been in the basement of the school with some other teachers,when the tornado was struck, said she and her pets were safe, if a little scared. She said that she never heard the “train” but could definitely feel the pull as the storm passed.

Senator Sam Brownback says he hopes the federal government will quickly declare the affected regions disaster areas. " "Over the past few years, Kansas has suffered more than its share of deadly weather," Brownback said, "but Kansans are resilient and they will come back from this disaster stronger than ever.

Senator Roberts is headed to Riley Co. and the surrounding area, telling residents "(w)e are working hard to bring any possible assistance your way..

The Associated Press contributed to the report


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