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Marshall County Begins Cleanup Efforts Following Tornadic Storms Saturday Evening

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A powerful slow moving storm system developed late Saturday afternoon in southeast Nebraska, and by early evening had built and tracked south into northeast Kansas. A thunderstorm warning for Gage and adjacent counties north and west quickly transitioned into a tornado warning, with radar indicated rotation noted by the National Weather Service.

Centered in Gage County, the front prompted baseball size hail in the Beatrice area, and multiple tornado sightings were observed. Wymore/Blue Springs were hit hard shortly after 5 p.m., bringing to a conclusion Sam Wymore Day activities.

With little movement, the storm built into northeast Kansas with a tornado sited north of Oketo. Storm sirens sounded in Marysville, and outlying communities. Marysville was hit hard around 6 p.m., and it is likely was struck by a tornado with significant tree damage, and some downtown buildings damaged. Power was off for some 14 hours in Marysville, and many rural residents were still off Sunday morning.

Marysville had considerable tree damage, with most city streets blocked for a time as residents and city crews responded. Some downtown buildings were hit hard, as the south wall of the Pepsi plant on U.S. Highway 36 fell, including concrete blocks that fell onto a Marshall County Sheriff cruiser parked out front. The roof at CES Engineering, formerly Boss Motors was taken off, the county health department building suffered significant damage. A roof downtown in front of Alliance Insurance was peeled off, and bricks came off the top of the Marysville Mutual Insurance building. Less significant impact was evident in east Marysville, but Hometown Lumber had the north front of their lumberyard torn off. Power was restored quickly to east Marysville, but some 75% of the town was dark for hours.

Sections of U.S. Highway 36 were reportedly closed for a time, and U.S. Highway 77 was closed north into Nebraska, and then south of Marysville into Blue Rapids. The Blue Rapids community was hit hard by the storm with lots of tree, and some structural damage. Same reported for Waterville as community centers became public access points for those without power.

The storm did not give up, driving into the Olsburg area, and then on toward Manhattan prompting multiple additional tornado warnings.

When all was settled, no injuries were reported, and damage assessments, clean up, and repairs will likely continue well into the next few weeks. This follows another significant storm a week and a half earlier that hit parts of Marshall and Washington counties, after a relatively mild, if not unusually windy spring in northeast Kansas.

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