Salina, KS

Extreme Winds and Dust Impact Kansas and Surrounding Areas


Many schools and businesses were closed on Wednesday and Thursday, along with some damage.
Lightning strikes the desertLucy Chian/Unsplash

On December 16, 2021, a historic dust storm like the Dust Bowl in the 1930s and extreme winds impacted many parts of Kansas. Salina, KS, and Manhattan, KS was no exception.

Evergy suffered the most significant power outage in its history.

In Salina, Kansas, 11 school buses were damaged on Wednesday, over half of the available buses for its local school district (USD 305). The school district is trying to borrow buses from other school districts like USD 306 on Monday.

Schools in Salina, Kansas and other cities throughout Kansas did not have classes on Thursday due to the effects of the windstorm.

Many schools and colleges in Kansas also suffered damage on Wednesday. One of them is Schilling Elementary in Salina, KS, and Great Bend High School in Great Bend, KS.

Powerlines in many cities were also down, making some of the roads impassable.

Many traffic signs were lost in the windstorm. Cities are working to replace them with temporary stop signs temporarily while they order new permanent traffic signs.

Due to the power outages in many cities in Kansas, many traffic lights stopped working, so many drivers treated them like a 4-way stop.

Many cars parked outside also collected dust as the dust storm came through on Wednesday. Owners of those cars should clean up the dust as soon as possible to maintain visibility while in traffic.

Many cities in Kansas also recorded some precipitation. Some areas of Kansas, like Manhattan, Kansas, were even under a tornado warning for some time on Wednesday, which caused many students' finals to get interrupted.

Many college finals were either canceled or postponed. In the case of K-State Salina, finals for Thursday and Friday got canceled or postponed.

There were also wildfires west of Salina, KS. Many homes and cattle were lost, along with some farmland.

Many people are still without power on Thursday as crews are working to restore power to everyone.

For some people with prolonged power outages, the food stored in their refrigerators has already been spoiled.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly declared a state of emergency in Kansas due to the elevated risk of wildfires in some parts of Kansas.

Many Christmas decorations at some houses were blown away by the strong winds yesterday.

It will take a while for many people in Kansas to resume their everyday lives and recover from the effects of the historic wind storm with winds comparable to an EF1 tornado. There is some damage to some areas that need to be repaired.

For now, power outages in some areas might continue to occur.

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Student at Kansas State University majoring in Finance. I cover stories that are related to lifestyle, education, local news in the Salina, KS area, and more.

Salina, KS

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