Thursday, June 12, 2008

Chapman Tornado

Graduates of Chapman High School are a proud bunch. Not so many years ago Dan and I called ourselves the Fighting Irish, wore green and white and knew we were lucky.

Chapman High School and the city of Chapman were not so lucky Wednesday night. A tornado ripped through our familiar small town, devastating schools and homes.

My mother is a resident of Chapman Valley Manor, one of the few places with very little damage. It served as a makeshift motel with beds from the basement Wednesday night. They have their own generator so all is well there.

Not so well in other parts of the city. My brother, Wayne, and sister-in-law, Ruth, intended to check on Mom this afternoon and provide help where necessary. Authorities were not letting anyone in the area.

Jennifer Latzke,Dodge City, a Chapman High School graduate and knowledgeable about procedures after Greensburg explained.

“They’ll need help cleaning up, but they have to account for everyone first. After Greensburg, the responders did a lot of extra training and adjusting to their responses. It may seem like anarchy to keep people out of a town while they check door-to-door but it cuts down on the number of secondary injuries non-trained personnel suffer that take away from the resources to get the town back on its feet.”

Thankfully, none of our family had damage. A large well-preserved old barn on a farm less than a mile from my husband’s brother, Larry, is destroyed.

Ruth described what she saw in one of their fields near that farm.

“All the trees in the ravine were topped. It was like something cut the tops of them off. The bottoms were fine.”

We speculated it was at that point the tornado lifted and spared family as well as the town of Junction City.

The following are pictures sent by a resident of Chapman. The first is a street scene, followed by the Chapman United Methodist Church. The last three are the high school and elementary school.










Update on Chapman

I just talked to Ruth, my sister-in-law. A neighbor went down to Chapman last night. For those who know the town, Londeen Funeral home, including the Chapman UMC and the parsonage next door suffered considerable damage. (She used the words "gone.") In the dark they could not tell how much damage with the high school.

The Casey's across the intersection from the nursing home had damage. We are feeling most fortunate Mom is OK.

We are not going there today. It is too soon. Wayne and Ruth will check on Mom. We will help later.

Town of Chapman Kansas Has Major Damage

Graduates of Chapman High School are a proud bunch. Not so many years ago Dan and I called ourselves the Fighting Irish, wore green and white and knew we were lucky.

Chapman High School and the city of Chapman were not so lucky Wednesday night. A tornado ripped through our familiar small town, devastating schools and homes.

My mother is a resident of Chapman Valley Manor, one of the few places with very little damage. It served as a makeshift motel with beds from the basement Wednesday night. They have their own generator so all is well there.

Not so well in other parts of the city. My brother, Wayne, and sister-in-law, Ruth, intended to check on Mom this afternoon and provide help where necessary. Authorities were not letting anyone in the area.

Jennifer Latzke,Dodge City, a Chapman High School graduate and knowledgeable about procedures after Greensburg explained.

“They’ll need help cleaning up, but they have to account for everyone first. After Greensburg, the responders did a lot of extra training and adjusting to their responses. It may seem like anarchy to keep people out of a town while they check door-to-door but it cuts down on the number of secondary injuries non-trained personnel suffer that take away from the resources to get the town back on its feet.”

Thankfully, none of our family had damage. A large well-preserved old barn on a farm less than a mile from my husband’s brother, Larry, is destroyed.

Ruth described what she saw in one of their fields near that farm.

“All the trees in the ravine were topped. It was like something cut the tops of them off. The bottoms were fine.”

We speculated it was at that point the tornado lifted and spared family as well as the town of Junction City.

The following are pictures sent by a resident of Chapman. The first is a street scene, followed by the Chapman United Methodist Church. The last three are the high school and elementary school.






















Chapman, Kansas, has major damage from a tornado. Early reports say 80% of the town is destroyed.

I called Chapman Valley Manor on the north side of town immediately after the storm. They reported my Mom and all the residents were fine and they had very little damage. However, I am sure they had not been outside.

Reports from WIBW say the roof is off Chapman High School gym and the downtown has major damage. The nursing home is only a few blocks north of that location.

I am hoping to take the day off work to make sure all is well with Mom. I will post more information later.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A message from our Federal Government

Yesterday I attended the Kansas Rural Letter Carriers convention in Park City, Kansas.

The first speaker, Todd Tiahart, Republican congressional representative from the 4th District, which includes Wichita where the meeting was held, began his remarks by addressing the fuel crises.

With the national average now $4.00 a gallon, the mood is changing in congress about the environmental impact of extracting the shale oil in Colorado and Utah. There are 1.2 trillion barrels of oil in these deposits, enough to last approximately 180 years. It is the farmers with their need of oil-based fertilizer and fuel that is part of what is driving congress to deal with this issue.

Tiahrt went on to give the example of the Alaska pipeline where there was speculation of a loss of native wildlife. The reality is that there was no depletion of wildlife and actually they flourished.

He addressed the massive tax breaks given to oil companies when they are experiencing record profits. Out of these profits they are required to pay OCS royalty. They are also researching new sources of oil. The trouble is our refineries are at capacity. New refineries are proposed, but there are lawsuits by environmental groups. He said the refineries might have to be build and “sort out court stuff later.”

I will say here that he didn’t necessarily criticize the environment issues with fossil fuels. My feeling was his remarks were dealing with an immediate solution to a crisis that our country is dependent on for economic stability at the present time.

He then addressed the Fair Tax Act, which is essentially a National sales tax, exempting food and medication. It would eliminate the IRS. While on the surface this would seem plausible, he thought it unlikely to pass. He did make this statement in connection with this idea—“Social encouragement can pick winners and losers.” What do you think about that statement?

Finally, he encouraged the KARLC to stay active in the political process. There are 8,000 pieces of legislation. To get a focus on our issue, there needs to be someone to plead our case.