Posted May 16, 2018
Storms ripped through western Kansas from Wallace County to Ness County in a swath ten to 15 miles wide on May 14. Wind gusts up to 80 miles per hour and hail from pea-sized to baseball-sized broke out windows, dented cars and tore siding off of houses.
Wheat fields in the area weren’t spared either. Fields that were already suffering from drought stress were completely destroyed by the “great white combine.”
“The hail storm went from Weskan and went southeast, pretty much in a line,” said Lisa. “It was very wide, so we’re estimating a little over half of our wheat was destroyed. It was 70-plus mile an hour winds. I would say it probably would have been golf ball, up to just shy of a baseball-sized hail, and the winds were vicious.”
The west sides of houses in the area were hit the hardest, with windows busted and siding destroyed. The Schemms only have two west-side windows, so they didn’t have as much personal loss as some of their neighbors, but, on the positive side, Lisa says she’s been wanting new siding on the house for a while.
“It wiped everybody’s west side windows and siding out. Windshields were knocked out of vehicles, and of course, wheat fields,” she said.
This devastation follows a hard year, where Kansas wheat has suffered from drought. Many areas of the state have received less than an inch, up to only a couple inches of moisture since early October. Abandonment of acres has been more common than average, and only 7.8 million acres were planted last fall, which is the third lowest planted acres since 1913, up only slightly since last year.
Additional photos available at facebook.com/kansaswheat/