Strong winds blow over camper at Maize racetrack

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) Overnight storms caused big problems for some in south central Kansas.

John Seiwert says he and two friends were sitting inside a camper when a wind gust tossed it on its side just as the driver was stepping out of the driver side door.

"I knew he was dead. I knew he was smashed," Seiwert said. "There's no way he was more than two steps away from the camper and then I look and there he is standing sideways in the camper and I'm like, holy crap, where did you come from?"

Seiwert was setting the camper up following the last race of the night at Kansas International Dragway in Maize.

"I looked over and the trees were leaning over, a limb came down on the high line wire, caught on fire. This poor guy's RV turned over, another trailer shot across the fence there. Stuff flying everywhere," Seiwert said.

Track co-owner Jason Caldwell says the storm came on fast and kept coming. He says the winds were so strong, it bowed the track's bathroom ceiling and tossed filled fuel barrels like tumbleweeds.

"Maybe fifteen minutes of severe wind," Caldwell said.

He says the storm left everyone shaken, but alive.

"The main thing is, it's only money. We can fix it. We're just glad the guys okay, the racers are fine. Everybody got out of here safely. I don't know what the monetary value of it is, but you can't put money on lives, so we're happy," Caldwell said.

The National Weather Service in Wichita says they are receiving reports that indicate straight line wind damage. Shortly before 1 a.m. Saturday morning, a 67 mile per hour wind gust was recorded near the airport.