Relief efforts in Kansas target immediate needs of tornado victims

LINWOOD, Kan. -- Donated supplies and a legion of volunteers are helping tornado victims clean up and restore some normality to their lives.

Recovery efforts are being coordinated to get help to those who need it.

Utility crews continue working to replace more than 300 broken power poles across Douglas and Leavenworth counties, as volunteers bring relief efforts to victims who've lost everything.

The Linwood Elementary School is being turned into a supply center, where donated piles of bleach, trash bags, even toothbrushes and toothpaste are being stacked up for storm victims to take what they need.

A lot of the donated goods were dropped off at the Basehor-Linwood High School Wednesday. They're being moved closer to the damaged areas in one central location that's easily accessible.

"We have five more truckloads coming right now," said Paige Pruitt, a volunteer in charge of the effort. "We are coordinating it from the high school to get dropped off here and then we are dispersing it."

Volunteers also are delivering food to people working in areas with no electricity or gas service. Old Shawnee Pizza made 50 pies to deliver at lunchtime.

Restoring utility service is proceeding slowly. Atmos Energy says in some cases uprooted trees have ripped up gas service lines, prompting the utility to shut down natural gas to about 300 customers.

There's no estimate yet on when to expect utility services will be restored to this area.

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