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Great Bend residents assess storm damage across town

The Great Bend High School and Trinity Lutheran Church were just of the few of the businesses in town the sustain significant wind damage on Wednesday.
Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 4:51 PM CST
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GREAT BEND, Kan. (KWCH) - Great Bend is among numerous communities across Kansas and beyond cleaning up from a storm that packed a punch with wind gusts that approached triple digits in some areas.

Downed powerlines and uprooted trees are just a couple of examples of damage the community suffered. Great Bend High School canceled classes Thursday after Wednesday’s storm caused extensive roof damage to its building.

The Great Bend High School was one of several buildings in town that sustained significant storm damage Wednesday afternoon.

The storm also destroyed a shed at KanEquip, Inc., a farm and construction equipment dealer. Service writer Jenny Wolff said the wind was unlike anything she’s ever experienced.

“You look out on the highway and you couldn’t even see the highway,” she said. “You almost couldn’t even see the combines right next to our building.”

At first, Wolff said she couldn’t even believe KanEquip’s shed was destroyed. Looking out to see for herself, she confirmed it was no longer standing.

KanEqup Service Manager Gary Katch said even in devastation, the situation with Wednesday’s storm could have been worse.

“Fortunately, none of the equipment in the shed appears to have been damaged,” he said. “So it just took the shed right off the top of it.”

Elsewhere in Great Bend, winds toppled a steeple at Trinity Lutheran Church.

Operations Director Tim Humburg said the steeple had been in place since 1954 and it is significant to the congregation. The steeple is about 35 feet tall and made of copper. Church officials said they plan to take a portion of the steeple back up to the top of the church’s roof and cap it off for the winter.

The plan, he said, is to fix the steeple as soon as possible. He said anyone who wants to help with the costs of repairs can send donations to the church at 2701 24th St, Great Bend, KS 67530.

“Hopefully, some day, we can get something worked out, that we can get something put up,” Humburg said.

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