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Twister damage totals over $600k

However, numbers expected to climb

POSTED May 18, 2017 12:34 p.m.


Although the figures are preliminary, Barton County Appraiser Barb Esfeld said her department estimates the damage caused by the tornado that tore through western Barton County at $658,000.

“But, I expect that to grow,” she said. That number doesn’t take into consideration vehicles and other personal property, irrigation systems or oil production equipment.
Nor does it include public utilities, she said. This damage total could be large as there were power poles down all over the area causing electrical outages, as well as fractured gas lines.

The twister, rated an EF3 by the National Weather Service with winds up to 165 miles per hour, cut a 300-yard-wide, 27-mile swath from Pawnee Rock to west of Hoisington. Esfeld said her staff members were out until 8 p.m. Wednesday following this path to record the destruction.

In all, 10 homes were destroyed, five within Pawnee Rock and the rest north and west of the community. They found 44 parcels of land that had some damage.

Of the estimated dollar damage, Esfeld said $408,97 was to homes that were totaled, two of which were flattened. Many of these residents didn’t have insurance.

There may be some tax relief available for property owners in the form of abatements or tax credits. This still requires finalization from the County Commission and an application process, but should be available soon.

Esfeld said her number is based on fair-market value. 

Having a total calculated is important, she said. It is required should the county apply for any state or federal disaster assistance.

Although county officials declared a state of local disaster emergency, that doesn’t mean outside money will be available, Emergency Manager Amy Miller said. “We have to first exhaust all of our local resources.”


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