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Archive for Monday, June 23, 2008

K-State expects tornado damage to surpass $27M

June 23, 2008

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— Officials at Kansas State University are still assessing damage from a tornado that tore through campus more than a week ago.

The university expects that an early estimate damage of $27 million will continue to grow.

Some buildings on the Manhattan campus have yet to be assessed and some buildings could have unknown structural damage, said Ed Heptig, director of facilities.

Kansas State's Salina campus also sustained more than $500,000 in damage, mostly from hail.

K-State President Jon Wefald has said the Manhattan campus will be ready for fall classes to start on Aug. 25.

Summer classes were all back in their original locations as of Thursday.

Much of the damage is on rooftops or inside buildings, Heptig said.

About 200 maintenance and custodial staff members, students and volunteers have picked up and hauled off most of the debris. Strips of paper, lumber, roof shingles and insulation had littered the campus.

The June 11 storm also killed trees all over campus, including some that were more than 100 years old.

"It sucked up trees, laid trees over, broke them in half and twisted trees in two," Heptig said.

Some of the damage included roofs being ripped off buildings, cracked walls, shattered windows and air conditioning units being pulled out of windows. No residence halls were damaged.

About 120 of the 600 university vehicles on the campus were battered by flying debris.

Some of the most extensive damage was at Weber, Waters, Call and Cardwell halls and at the engineering complex.

The Wind Erosion Lab was nearly destroyed, said Tom Rawson, vice president for administration and finance.

Insurance adjusters continue to assess damage while contractors begin repairs.

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