Burke slammed by 100 mph wind

Local News

People across KELOLAND are picking up the pieces after a strong thunderstorm slammed several communities last night with strong wind, large hail, heavy rain and lightning.

There was even a report of a brief tornado in the small town of Burke.

It left behind a tremendous amount of damage, including the high school.

But most of the mess was caused by straight line winds clocked anywhere between 80 and 100 mph.

The extent of the damage in Burke wasn’t really known until early Wednesday morning when the sun came up.

“It’s pretty devastating, we’ve seen other towns that have had this, but you never thought you’d see it here, it happened so fast,” County Commission chairman Myron Johnson said.

They say there was little time to react.

“After the power went out, there was some strong wind and about 10 – 15 minutes later it seemed like it was done,” Burke school superintendent Erik Person said.

Person is getting a better idea today of how badly his school is damaged.

“In the classrooms down on the north end, you walk in the classroom and you can look up and see blue sky,” Person said.

School was supposed to start in two weeks, but that isn’t looking good either.

“Try and figure out what we need for classroom space and where we’re going to put that and all that,” Person said.

The lumberyard is destroyed and so is the community center.

The courthouse received a lot of damage too.

Just how long it’ll take this small town to recover, the jury is still out, but lives here have definitely been shattered.

“We were very fortunate there were only three minor injuries,” Johnson said.

The school board held an emergency meeting Wednesday afternoon to begin the process of trying to figure out what they’re going to do for the start of the school year.

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