K-State Cleans Up After Tornado Tears Through Campus

By: Rae Chelle Davis Email
By: Rae Chelle Davis Email

They may have had warning but students and faculty at Kansas State University are still in shock after an EF-2 tornado tore through the campus late Wednesday evening.

"To us it sounded like a strong driving wind, and there were green and red flashes in the sky and it was just the craziest thing I have ever seen," said Joseph Pieper, a junior at K-State. "It was one of the most chilling things I have ever heard. Pieper was peeking out from a storm shelter at Jardine Apartment Complex next to campus.

Yie Wu was inside the Engineering lab at the University. "We heard the sound, like rattling. We were like rats running to the basement," said Wu. He said friends of his grabbed their ears when they heard the pressure change as windows blew out.

"It just, the noise was terrible," said Bebonchu Atems a graduate student and instructor at the University.

Crews began clean up at sunrise Thursday morning. President Jon Wefald held a joint news conference at the Manhattan Regional Airport at 3:30 p.m. Thursday. He estimates the damage at K-State to be around $20 million. Wefald says a majority of the damage was to windows and roofs. He assured everyone that the nuclear reactor on campus is secure.

Governor Sebelius said that $10 million is allocated for use when legislature is not in session. She mentioned that some or all of that will be allocated to the areas hit by tornadoes. "Thank God no one was hurt," said Gov. Sebelius of the tornado that hit campus.

President Wefald says the campus will be back to normal by August when students return for the fall semester.

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