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Late Wednesday Night Storm Claims Life of Holyrood Man


By Lucky Kidd


CENTRAL KANSAS — Severe winds blasted central Kansas late Wednesday night into the early hours of Thursday, claiming the life of a Holyrood man.

According to the Russell County Sheriff’s office, 64-year-old Christopher Montoya was found deceased in the Hell’s Creek Area of Wilson State Park, where multiple campers were blown over when winds near 70 miles an hour as the storm moved across the lake just before midnight Wednesday night. Three persons were taken to Russell Regional Hospital for treatment of injuries.

As the storms moved east, even higher wind gusts were reported, with a peak gust of 82 miles an hour at the Salina airport at 12:48 AM Tuesday. A Kansas Mesonet Station just south of McPherson clocked a wind gust of 76 miles an hour, with 70-75 mile an hour gusts reported east of McPherson and in the Canton area.

Wind gusts were reported to 67 miles an hour east of Partridge, with severe winds also clocked at Hutchinson Regional Airport, near Little River, and in areas of Ellsworth, Harvey and Marion counties.

Scattered power outages were reported across the area, with the heaviest concentration of them to the north and northwest of Salina and to the north of Chase.

Some areas saw significant rainfall from Wednesday rains. The National Weather Service in Wichita reported a 24-hour rainfall of 2.20 inches in Sterling, with 1.1.74 inches southwest of Inman and just over an inch in the Hesston and Goessel areas.