80-mph gusts knock down trees, power lines Sunday

By The Mercury

A storm with winds of up to 80 mph tore down trees and power lines in the area early Sunday morning, though officials said most of the damage wasn’t severe.

Riley County Emergency Management Director Pat Collins said he did not get any reports of structural damage to buildings, but the storm took down lots of trees and some power lines, leaving as many as 10,000 Westar customers in the greater Manhattan area without power for a short time.

The National Weather Service reported gusts of 70 to 80 mph in the storm. The damage left was apparent everywhere in the county from Leonardville to south of Manhattan, Collins said.

“It did seem to be throughout Riley County,” he said.

Collins said the damage in Manhattan varied depending on the location.

“It ranged from small branches to large trees over,” he said.

Collins said Geary County, including Junction City, saw similar damage from wind.

The storm damage contributed to power outages during the night.

Westar spokesman Shane Batchelder said that in the Manhattan metro area including Junction City, as many as 10,000 customers experienced power outages.

Power had been restored to almost all of them by 4 a.m. Sunday, he said.

Collins said there were widespread outages, particularly in the middle of town.

“I think it was a combination of trees falling on lines and things contacting the lines and transformers,” Collins said. “I heard three transformers go out where I was.”

There is no organized effort to clean up the trees and branches, Collins said.

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