MANHATTAN -- Thunderstorms left thousands of people with power, plunging them into darkness hours after whipping through Junction City, Manhattan, and Kansas State University Friday afternoon. Trees snapped like matchsticks and hit power lines, even damaging half of the air conditioning equipment at Anderson Hall. Its roof was also seriously damaged.
K-State President Kirk Schulz offered a quick estimate that at least $250,000 damage had been done to the Manhattan campus, and he expects that total will go much higher. Riley County Police told 13 News no one was injured in the storms.
Westar Energy reported more than 22,000 customers without power
at one point Friday evening, including nearly 16,000 in Riley County. Power was being restored quickly, with outages down to only 5300 in Riley County, and half that in Shawnee County only four hours after the storm had passed through Topeka.
The National Weather Service says winds gusted up to 93 mph in
Manhattan late Friday afternoon as the storms moved through the
region. A tractor-trailer was blown over in the city.
Kansas State police Capt. Don Stubbings says the strong winds took out lots of trees in a small area. He compared it to the tree damage caused by a tornado in June 2008.