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Selden community, volunteers come together to clean up after tornado

Hundreds of volunteers in Selden to assist with tornado clean up
Updated: May. 25, 2021 at 3:08 PM CDT
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SELDEN, Kan. (KWCH) - People in Selden are now cleaning up after a tornado swept through the community Monday.

Hundreds of volunteers turned out Tuesday to help homeowners and businesses clear the debris scattered across town.

Stephen Carmen received some of that help after the tornado damaged his roof and toppled over trees.

“I can’t believe how many people showed that all come together,” said Carmen. “It doesn’t matter what politics you, what religion. It makes no difference. Everybody is right here.”

One couple has lived in the community since the 70s. They said Monday night they were watching KWCH 12 Eyewitness News when they decided to hurry to their basement.

“We could hear stuff flying around, but we wasn’t sure,” Gwen Schultz said. “The wind was really strong all at once, and then it went through pretty fast. I told my wife, ‘I bet that was a tornado that went through that fast,’ and it was.”

The community came together to help Shultz and his wife clean up after the tornado. Because of that, they were able to clear out the property in a couple of hours, something Shultz said he wouldn’t have been able to do on his own.

“Oh, isn’t that wonderful, so wonderful,” Shultz said. “I am 82 and there’s not much I can do, so, it is really appreciated.”

Shultz said he may not know everyone in the town anymore, but that hasn’t stopped them from coming to his aid.

“I am not sure who the homeowner is, we are just going around and helping where we need it,” volunteer Ryan Ptashkin said. “We are a pretty tight-knit community and we like to help each other out when they need it.”

Both men said they are just thankful nobody was hurt, and they know the community will continue to work together to move forward.

“Selden residents in need of supplies may come to the community center. Items available include household and cleaning supplies, wipes, gloves, food, water, dog and cat food and more. Anyone needing volunteer assistance should also check in at the community center,” reads a post on the Selden, Kansas Facebook page.

Selden officials said they are good on food and water and are now only accepting cash donations. Those can be sent to the City of Selden, PO Box 54, Selden, KS 67757. A GoFundMe page has also been set up for the town.

If you’re wanting to volunteer, you can check-in at the Incident Command Center in the middle of town. Hundreds of volunteers checked in on Tuesday, according to emergency officials, that does not include the initial volunteers who showed up last night. The Red Cross has also been called in. Officials said there is still a lot of clean-up over the next few days.

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