By Jim Misunas
High wind blew over 22 poles and caused property damage in central and western Kansas Wednesday night. A peak wind of 91 mph was reported at 9:02 p.m. 10 miles southwest of Ness City in Ness County.
Midwest Energy had 22 power poles blown over Wednesday night, according to spokesman Mike Morley. Repairs were underway Thursday.
Morley said Nekoma, in Rush County, had 13 poles blown down north of town. In the Great Bend District, three poles were down in Ness County and three in Pawnee County. Two poles were down in Hodgeman County and one in Rush County.
“The Burdett/Rozel area had isolated outages because of trees falling on power lines,” Morley said.
A flat roof was ripped off a business on the west side of Larned at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday. A couple of 12-inch tree limbs were down on the west side of Larned. In Great Bend, some trees were down near 2nd and Frey.
The Rush County sheriff’s department reports six train cars were blown over along a track from one-half mile west of La Crosse at 10:26 p.m. Six empty train cars that stretch a mile long into town were tipped over by Main Street in LaCrosse. One car derailed into a nearby lumberyard.
In Ellis County, firefighters rescued two people from disaster after a 911 call at 10:04 p.m. Wednesday after their vehicle was swept away by flooding. A Toyota SUV was swept into the water at a low-water bridge near the Big Creek dam in Ellis. Ellis County reported flash flooding at 9:30 p.m. with numerous streets flooded along with county roads.
Ellis Police Chief Taft Yates said by the time emergency personnel arrived, three passengers escaped the vehicle, which was declared a total loss.
“They were looking at Big Creek, about 200 yards east of the dam, got too close to the muddy bank and took a ride into the river,” said Taft Yates, Ellis police chief, to The Hays Daily News. “Everybody did a good job, especially the rope rescuers with the fire department.”
The Ellis Fire Department rescue squad, Ellis Police Department and Ellis County Sheriff responded with local citizens.
“If you see water running across a road, don’t drive through it,” Yates said. "If you survive that type of situation, you should stay together and stay at the scene so emergency responders spend time looking for survivors."
Stafford County law enforcement reported downed tree branch approximately 6 to 8 inches in diameter on U.S. 50 in Macksville at 10:45 p.m.
Lane County reported estimated 60 to 80 mph winds at 8:49 p.m., with a few power poles down and 6-inch trees down in Dighton and Amy.
Pawnee Rock and a location three miles west of Rozel reported 70 mph wind. Reports of 60-plus mph wind were common, reported at the Great Bend Airport and Pawnee County. Other counties reporting 60-mph wind from 8:30 to 11 p.m. were Scott, Finney, Hodgeman and Barber counties.
After one-half to one-inch of rain, the National Weather Service in Wichita continued flood warnings Thursday for Rice County, Reno and Ellsworth counties.
A flood warning continues for Cow Creek near Lyons until 8:30 p.m. Thursday. The flood warning for eastern Rice County was extended to 6:45 p.m. Thursday. Law enforcement continues to report flooding along the Little Arkansas River and its tributaries. The flood warning was extended to 8:30 p.m. Thursday in Ellsworth County.