MANHATTAN, Kan. — High winds caused over $10 million in damage in Manhattan, Kansas last night. Riley County has issued an emergency declaration to help speed up the assistance.

Riley County officials tell FOX4 that wind peaked at 100 miles per hour in Manhattan and those powerful wind gust ripped Kappa Alpha Theta’s roof off and into the front line of Chi Omega.

The damage sustained was so severe, sorority leaders are not sure if the girls will be able to move in this fall.


“My stomach turned over and it’s just a feeling of sadness and horror but thankful no one was in the house,” said Kim Jacobson, a Chi Omega house corporation board member.

“As soon as some of these trees here were like really low, as far as the wind pushing it down, I shut the door. After that, that’s all I needed to just hunker down,” said Charles Fitzgerald who lives in Manhattan.

His home that he shares with his wife and four kids was not damaged but his neighbor’s house, just two doors down, weren’t so lucky. Fitzgerald and his family have been without power for more than 14 hours.

“It’s a waiting game I tell you that it’s a waiting game you just sit and wait,” he said.

Most of this damage was east of the Kansas State campus and residential homes were hit hard, so bad they aren’t livable anymore.

“It’s worse than people might think, mostly just with the humidity and heat that’s coming on so strong,” said Jacobson.

Now the focus quickly turns to the cleanup, picking up the pieces that this high wind event left behind.

“Right now it’s just cleaning up, a lot of big trees are down, but yeah. We’re definitely blessed,” said Fitzgerald.

On a good note, officials say there was no loss of life or even injury.

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