Recovery efforts underway in Westmoreland after deadly EF3 tornado

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Pottawatomie County public information officer named Ann Miller as the woman killed in the EF3 tornado that tore through Westmoreland on Tuesday. Three others were also injured.

According to the National Weather Service, that tornado was on the ground for 8 minutes and traveled 2.5 miles with winds up to 140 miles per hour.

The deadly tornado struck the town of 700. Pottawatomie County officials said 22 houses are destroyed or unlivable, with even more damage.

“You think you have time. You don’t always have time,” Bill Henry, who lost his house to the tornado, said. “It hits so fast, and you don’t realize how close it is.”

Taking shelter right away is essential. It’s a lesson Bill Henry learned the hard way.

Storm Track 3 Forecast: Isolated severe today, unsettled into the weekend

“Our family made it to the shelter, but it was less than a minute from the sirens to when the tornado hit the house,” Henry said.

Henry lost his home. He’s not the only one.

“We might be able to help with relocation, we’ll be able to help with information you might need for damage assessment for insurance, we have some supplies we can give you,” said Logan Wright with The American Red Cross of Kansas and Oklahoma.

The Red Cross is deploying damage assessors out of Wichita. They should get to Westmoreland on Thursday.

The damage assessors will take a look at some of the destruction caused by this tornado. From there, they’ll decide what resources are needed.

A Red Cross volunteer said the organization has to figure out how to split resources since many staff and volunteers are in Oklahoma helping with recovery there.

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