Clean up is underway in Dickinson, Riley, Saline and Jackson Counties, all impacted by the deadly tornadoes that moved through the state June 11th.
The storms killed two people, a woman in Dickinson County and a man in Jackson County bringing the number of deaths in Kansas in 2008 due to tornadoes to four.
The first tornado deaths this year involved a couple killed in Pratt County when their car was tossed into a field three weeks ago.
During the June 11th storm, three people in Dickinson County sustained critical injuries. One of the victims has been upgraded to stable.
Chapman Reopens; Daily Public Meetings Planned
The town of Chapman will reopen to the general public Saturday morning allowing volunteers to come in to help the residents clean up their property.
However, checkpoints will remain in place for another week to help direct everyone to where they need to go.
Volunteers should take the I-70 Chapman exit north of town and watch for signs directing them where to go or ask those at the checkpoints. They may also contact the city of Chapman at 785-922-6582 for additional information.
Power remains out to all areas except the north part of town and is expected to remain out until next Wednesday. Two of three water wells are operating and were not impacted.
For residents who still need a place to stay, the shelter in Abilene will remain open Friday night.
The town will conduct public meetings daily at 4 p.m. in the tennis courts of the city park to inform residents about clean up procedures and other important community information.
Donations Being Accepted – Cash and Specific Items
Cash donations are being accepted through the City of Chapman Disaster Relief Fund; C/O City of Chapman, 402 N. Marshall, Chapman, KS 67431. Cash donations for Chapman or any of the tornado victims may also be sent to American Red Cross or Salvation Army or other charities which help tornado victims.
The city is also in need of tents, ropes, gloves and trash bags. Clothing will not be accepted. Donations should be taken to the checkpoint on the north side of town and directions will be provided on where to go.
Workers Urged to Be Careful in Debris
Kansas Department of Health and Environment officials caution residents and volunteers to be careful when removing debris from any area damaged by the recent tornadoes and storms.
Workers should drink plenty of water, wear gloves and get a tetanus shot. Residents are also reminded to take precautions against asbestos exposure while removing and disposing of debris. Asbestos was used prior to 1980.
Workers should wear a respirator for protection, as well as gloves to help keep dust and fibers off of hands. Coveralls, hard hats and other protective clothing should also be worn when possible.
· Shower and wash thoroughly after debris removal, to remove dust and fibers on your body that could later become airborne.
· Materials being removed from damaged structures that were built before 1980 should be dampened with water under low pressure before removal, to minimize dust and fibers.
· Only disturb materials that need to be removed, in order to prevent the needless release of dust and fibers.
· Knock down structures wall-by-wall, folding each wall in on itself to minimize excess breakage of asbestos-containing material. During demolition, the structure should be kept wet to minimize the release of fibers.
· Materials that could contain asbestos should be kept wet and covered by a tarp or other enclosure while being transported on a vehicle for disposal. These materials must be disposed only at approved sites. Consult with KDHE personnel on-scene for direction.
· Consult with a licensed contractor or emergency personnel trained in asbestos removal and disposal whenever possible.
The state continues to provide resources to the community of Chapman and Manhattan. The Kansas National Guard will remain through Saturday midday in Chapman and Manhattan. Approximately 20 members of the Guard’s 1st Battalion, 161 Field Artillery are in Chapman, and approximately 15 members of the Guard’s 1st Battalion, 635th Armor are in Manhattan.
The Guard’s generator will remain in Chapman as needed to support power needs. Some communication vehicles and systems also remain in Chapman.