Storm system does damage in Jackson County

The storm system that moved through northeastern Kansas during the afternoon and evening of Wednesday, Dec. 15, bringing historically gusty winds to the region for this time of year, had Holton Electrical Distribution Superintendent Scott Fredrickson and his crew finding it hard to stand up to make repairs to power distribution lines.

“I’ve never seen wind like that, ever,” Fredrickson said of that day’s winds, which had a sustained speed of “40-plus” miles per hour and gusts of up to 80 miles per hour in some areas, it was reported.

Fredrickson and his crew were one of many busy teams restoring power and other services to parts of the Midwest that were affected by what the National Weather Service referred to as a “derecho,” a long-lasting and damaging windstorm caused by concentrated thunderstorms that travel long distances, often producing tornado-like damage.

In this case, the derecho affected a five-state area ranging from Kansas to Wisconsin, causing 21 tornadoes and at least five deaths in the region, according to NWS. The damage was not as severe but still significant in this area, as Jackson County Emergency Management Director Pat Korte noted.

“We had reports of a lot of trees and branches down, along with power lines down in the north end of the county,” Korte said. “Shingles were off roofs and tin was off buildings in the east part of the county.”

In Holton, the wind peeled the roof off a mobile home and caused trees and limbs to fall, but “nothing severe” in terms of damage, according to Holton Police Chief Steve Frederick. Some of the trees fell into power lines, however, keeping Fredrickson and his crew busy well into the night, even after winds had died down.

(For more on this story, please log in to your account and select the Dec. 22, 2021 edition under “E-Editions.”)

The Holton Recorder

109 W. Fourth St.
Holton, KS 66436
Phone: 785-364-3141

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