Cleanup volunteers wanted after destructive Andover tornado

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Mandy Fouse – whose home southwest of the Andover YMCA was hit by the tornado – took this photo of the tornado in the window reflection.

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More than four months later, there is still much to clean up from the EF-3 tornado that tore through rural Sedgwick County and a heavily populated area of ​​Andover in neighboring Butler County.

Dozens of volunteers are needed for a clean-up day from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday September 10 at three locations in Andover.

The EF-3 tornado, which had winds reaching 155 mph, leveled several homes along its 12.75 mile path. It landed at 8.10pm on April 29 in a rural part of Sedgwick County where residents had no warning. It went northeast into Andover before dissolving into the country at 8:31 p.m.

In 21 minutes, the tornado caused structural damage to more than 200 homes and caused more than $37 million in damage, according to Butler County Emergency Management Director Keri Korthals. She said the estimate is based on appraised values, which are well below actual replacement value, and do not include many homes that may have suffered minor damage from things like roof shingles.

Six people were injured. All were minors except for a woman in rural Sedgwick County who broke her back when the tornado lifted her mobile home, turned it around and dropped it.

Anyone interested in volunteering can sign up at unitedwayplains.galaxydigital.com, then click on “City of Andover” under recent agencies. Then click to volunteer in one of three areas – Yorktown Road near the heavily beaten YMCA, Central Park, or the Lakeview Heights neighborhood – and hit respond. Volunteers will also need to enter some basic information. The details under each location will contain more instructions, including what to bring.

Michael Stavola covers breaking news at the Wichita Eagle. He won a national award and several state awards during his six years working for Kansas newspapers. He completed his MBA at Wichita State University in the spring of 2020. Michael enjoys exercising, hunting, and spending time with his wife and their dog, Marley.


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