In many ways, Sumner County is lucky in that no one was killed or injured. However damage from the weekend storms is spread out, and severe through rural Argonia and Conway Springs.
"Right now, to my knowledge, we've got three [homes] with nothing left but the floor," said James Fair, Sumner County Emergency Management (SCEM) Director. "And three more that are so extensively damaged that they won't be repairable." Fair has spent most of Sunday out assessing the damage around the County. He said the National Weather Service is still trying to determine the exact size of the tornado(s) that ripped through the six properties he mentioned.
"There were three just west and south of Conway Springs," Fair explained. "Then there's one southeast of Conway Springs, and then the two over by Argonia." One of the families effected by the severe weather was the Haxton's, near Argonia.
"We just took the regular precautions, we went down to the basement...took all of our valuables, just kind of waited it out," said Monte Haxton. "We knew it was coming close." He said the storm hit around 9:30 p.m. Saturday night.
"I don't know how the house survived," he said. The family did lose a barn, and debris is scattered all around their property. His wife, Robyn was flying back from Atlanta, GA when the destruction was taking place. She said the pilot told passengers he was going to try to land during a pocket of clear weather at Wichita's Mid-Contenint Airport.
"But I don't know that we picked a very good pocket, we had a lot of turbulence coming down," Robyn said. On the ground passengers were alerted of the tornados and she went to Mulvane with friends, just before the storm hit there, later she found out about her home. She was glad to find out her husband and children were in the basement during the storm.
"We prayed like crazy," Monte added.
About five miles south of Argonia, once stood the farm where Mark Tracy had lived for nearly 40-years. Now that farm is mostly a pile of rubble.
"The wife and I were in the basement, huddled up in the southwest corner," Tracy said. "We're just fine." But the six buildings he had on his property that housed a lot of equipment are the opposite of fine.
A house also stands on Tracy's property, it received extensive damage as well, but Tracy and his wife were living in a trailer home just near the near that house, with plans to build a new house.
"We were going to tear down the old house, and it's the only thing that stayed," Tracy remarked. He also recalled helping clean up storm damage on the property when he was about 10-years old, as he grew up a mile north of his current location. And since purchasing the property in the early 1970's, this isn't the first tornado to cause damage.
Page 2 of 2 - "...Since I've been here, we've had three; and this is the last one," Tracy said. "Color me gone." Tracy said the storm hit his home at approximately 9:15 p.m. on April 14.
"Rain came from the south, then the north, then it came straight down, then it hailed. Then it got deathly quiet," Tracy recalled. "And I knew when it got deathly quiet, I told the wife 'we'd better get to the corner.'" A few miles away, Monte Haxton described the storm as it passed through his property.
"Right before it hit, you could sure feel the pressure, ears started popping..." Haxton said. "Then it sounded like a freight train going right over the top of the house." Both properties in Argonia weren't short on family, friends, neighbors, and community members pitching in on the clean-up effort.
"It's amazing," Haxton said, very grateful for all of the community support. "It's pretty overwhelming."
"It's outstanding," Tracy commented. "They want me to make decisions, and I don't know what to do. There's no instruction booklet that comes with this."
For continuing coverage on the storms that swept through Sumner County, stay with The Wellington Daily News. Please send any storm photos, or video to firstname.lastname@example.org.