By BECKY KISER
Tuesday evening’s storm in Hays knocked out the main Midwest Energy electrical line trunk that powers Fort Hays State University.
Generators immediately kicked in, according to Ed Howell, FHSU police chief, and the entire campus currently has electricity.
The powerful wind gusts tore down a large portion of the north wall of the campus power plant Akers Energy Center.
According to the National Weather Service (NWS) in Dodge City, a wind gust of 78 mph was measured at the Hays Regional Airport at 7:56 p.m. “You never know what that wind will do coming through this little tunnel area (between buildings),” said Howell.
At 8:20 p.m. the damaging winds were still at 52 mph sustained and gusting to 72 mph at 8:20 pm, the NWS reported in an update.
Campus crews were using heavy equipment late Tuesday night to clear the glass and cement wall block debris from the damaged area and sidewalk. A large limb was torn from a tree along the building driveway to the east.
Other tree damage was noticeable on the east side of Tomanek Hall which is adjacent to the power plant.
Classes start Monday for the fall semester.
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