Andover coming together in first ‘Greater Andover Days’ celebration since April tornado

Andover Days kicks off this weekend, but many still repairing damages from the Andover tornado.
Andover Days kicks off this weekend, but many still repairing damages from the Andover tornado.(KWCH)
Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 11:21 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - As Greater Andover Days kicks off this weekend, the community is celebrating while they continue to clean up from April’s tornado.

Five months have passed since an EF-3 tornado tore through the Reflection Lake neighborhood, uprooting trees and causing extensive home damage, with some even being leveled.

Cathan Riding and his family were on the very edge of the twister’s path. They had mere minutes to spare to get to shelter.

“I saw it on the back side of the neighborhood coming towards us. The power was already out. I had to run up to my door because the garage door wouldn’t open. Luckily, my wife let me in in time. We sheltered in the basement, which was pretty scary,” Riding said.

Though they were spared the worst of it, they didn’t come out totally unscathed; their siding sustained some dents, and two windows had to be replaced, as well as their fence and roof.

“Insurance is a blessing. The out of pocket costs weren’t as high as what I thought they were going to be. If we would’ve had to pay out of pocket, it would’ve been insane,” Riding said.

Through the recovery process, the community of nearly 15,000 banded together.

“Mostly it was people coming to help out. With the narrow streets, it got pretty crowded pretty quick, but it was really cool to see the different groups of people coming to help,” Riding said.

As the community gathers to celebrate Greater Andover Days, Riding hopes that joy will be spread through a town that has gone through so much in 2022.

“Fall festivals like this getting the community together, we absolutely love it. It takes your mind off of everything that’s gone on with the rebuild and devastation that happened earlier in the year,” Riding said.

The City of Andover is calling on volunteers to donate their time for two clean up days along Yorktown Road on October 22 and November 5. For more information and to sign up, click here.