Storms on Thursday night blew the roof off at least one home and downed a number of trees and power lines throughout the area, said Teri Smith, Douglas County Emergency Management director.
The roof was lost over the former Marion Springs elementary school, since repurposed as a home, Smith said. The former school building is near the unincorporated town of Worden, west of the intersection of U.S. Highways 59 and 56 in southwestern Douglas County.
The storms raged throughout the area until approximately 11 p.m., Smith said. Aside from sporadic reports of damage, no injuries were reported.
Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Kristen Dymacek said in an emailed response to questions that deputies received several reports of downed power lines and trees as well as debris in the roadway. However, no injuries were reported to the sheriff’s office, she said.
Smith said she received a total of 2.5 inches of rain Thursday night at her home and she’s bracing for more.
In fact, the county is under a flash flood watch, Smith said.
Between Friday and Saturday the Lawrence area could see as much as another inch and a half of rain, said Brandon Brake, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Topeka.
However, though winds gusted as fast as 70 mph on Thursday night, they’re not expected to be as strong throughout the rest of the weekend, Brake said.
The rain is expected to stop falling as late as 9 a.m. on Saturday, Brake said, and the rest of the weekend is predicted to be rain free.
“The rest of Saturday and Sunday should be dry,” he said. “It should be pretty nice.”
Area residents planning to hunker down for bouts of severe weather should settle on a way to receive information, Smith said. One way is to sign up for call alerts at the county’s website, www.douglascountyks.org.
Then, when or if the weather hits, folks should find their way to the lowest level of their houses, as far away from windows as possible, Smith said.
“Get to the most center room that doesn’t have windows,” she said.
If anybody is injured or there is an emergency, it’s best to call 911, Smith said. However, if there is damage to report or other nonemergency issues, it’s best to call Emergency Management’s regular line at 785-832-5259 or the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office at 785-841-0007.