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Tornado in my town

Story ID:3981
Written by:Nancy J. Kopp (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:OurEcho Community
Location:Manhattan KS USA
Year:2008
Person:Nancy Kopp
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Just a couple days ago I posted a story about the killer tornado in Greensburg, KS that happened a year ago. Little did I know my own town would be hit this week.

Last night a tornado hit Chapman, KS, which lies between Abilene and Junction City. At 10:30 the sirens began to blow here, and we headed to our basement. We turned on our local radio station and TV. On TV we were able to track the storm and saw it was heading straight for Manhattan, where we live. It's a very frightening thing to watch that radar and know it is headed straight for your area.

The tornado hit first about one mile south of our home. A large hardware store was leveled, an auto dealer next to it was severely damaged. A housing area across the road had 30-40 homes severely damaged or destroyed. Then it moved on to the Kansas State University campus, which lies 2 miles east and slightly south of our home. This morning we learned the campus had 20 million dollars worth of damage. Summer school was in session with about 5,000 students in the area for that. Freshman orinetation was scheduled for today with many parents and students in town for that. Other groups have conferences on campus off and on all summer, with people staying in residence halls, and there was one group there. Buildings were badly damaged, but no lives were lost. And that was a true blessing. In Chapman, two people died.

Power lines are down in some areas of town, trees down, too, but in the section where our house is life goes on as normal. We feel terribly relieved and very blessed to have escaped the horrors of a violent storm.

And now the clean-up begins for what may be a long time. Insurance companies will help people rebuild, but the toll it takes on the human psyche has no insurance payoff. I heard on the radio that K-State has a 5 million dollar deductible with their insurance. Kind of overwhelming to even think about.