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Archive for Wednesday, June 19, 2013

40 years ago: Cleanup begins after violent windstorm

June 19, 2013

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for June 19, 1973:

  • Workers were out all over town today as cleanup continued in the wake of the weekend storm, during which a "brief but violent five minutes" had shredded Lawrence with winds in excess of 100 miles per hour. City street superintendent Arnold Wiley said that damage to signs and traffic lights alone would probably amount to between $12,000 and $15,000. Wayne Bly, director of the city parks and recreation department, estimated that damage to trees and parks would be in excess of $20,000, not including "intangible costs" such as the loss of a 100-year-old tree. Crews reported that they had cleared many areas of debris in the center of the Kansas University campus but that it would take about another week to clear the campus completely. Thirty-five KU trees were known to have been damaged so badly that their remains had to be removed, according to a grounds supervisor, and that didn't include the area in the "groves" near the Campanile which had not yet been thoroughly investigated. The roof of the Museum of Natural History had already been repaired, and work had begun on the roofs of Allen Fieldhouse and Moore Hall, which were being repaired by the original roofing contractors. Broken windows at Strong Hall and other buildings had been temporarily repaired.
  • The storm had caused several "old-timers" to recall similar events in the weather-history of Lawrence. A wind storm on July 1, 1958, had caved in the Derby Grain storage facilities that were under construction in North Lawrence, and another storm in March, 1952, had torn down the steel framework for Malott Hall on the KU campus. An August storm in 1962 had dropped a funnel cloud about 15 miles southwest of town, a weather-watcher recalled, and two years earlier, another storm with 75 mph winds had toppled the FM radio antenna at KU.

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