Archive for Monday, June 30, 2003

Storm, hail damage in Liberal tops $6 million

June 30, 2003

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— Heavy rains and golf-ball size hail pounded this southwest Kansas community Saturday night, flooding streets, knocking down tree limbs and power lines, breaking windows and damaging some roofs.

The storm, which packed 50 mph winds and dumped 3 inches of rain in Liberal, destroyed at least four mobile homes in rural areas of Seward County, along with several outbuildings and garages. Inside the city, authorities said, damage to buildings appeared to be limited to roofs, some of which were torn off by high winds, and many broken windows.

As of Sunday afternoon, the county had not received any reports of injuries, said Kara Veverka, a spokeswoman for Seward County Emergency Management. Only a small portion of Liberal remained without power, she said.

Flood waters that reached car windows Saturday night had yet to totally recede, Veverka said. Reports said some hail was as big as 2 1/2-inches in diameter.

After an initial assessment Sunday, authorities estimated damage at more than $6 million in Liberal alone, including more than $1 million in hail-damage to vehicles.

"As of right now, it looks like Liberal was the hardest hit," Veverka said.

Saturday's storm moved through Liberal about 8 p.m. It came a little more than a month after a storm that spawned at least two tornadoes caused widespread property damage, destroyed several homes and led to heavy flooding that washed out rural roads.

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