News Flash Home
The original item was published from 10/4/2023 11:07:25 AM to 10/4/2023 11:08:20 AM.

News Flash

Columbus News

Posted on: October 4, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Severe thunderstorm leads to building, parks and road damage

Damage1

The cleanup is underway after Tuesday night’s thunderstorm caused some damage to Columbus parks, buildings and roadways.

The cleanup is underway after Tuesday night’s thunderstorm caused some damage to Columbus parks, buildings and roadways.

Two trees went down in Frankfort Square; a tree fell down on a light pole and took down some powerlines by the west shelter in Pawnee Park and roadways throughout town were closed as a result of tree branches falling down, among other things.

According to Meteorologist Michaela Wood, out of the National Weather Service office in Omaha/Valley, a severe thunderstorm that featured strong winds came through Columbus producing wind gusts up to 60-70 mph. She said one report just east of Columbus indicated wind gusts of 73 mph.

“It was definitely enough to knock down tree branches,” she said.

City of Columbus crews were hard at work in Frankfort Square early Wednesday morning cleaning up the debris. City Parks and Recreation Director Betsy Eckhardt confirmed two trees along 27th Avenue near the bandshell suffered significant damage. One was split in half while another was uprooted and fell into a third tree. The tree split in half and the other uprooted became unstable and will have to be completely removed, while the third will be trimmed up. Crews were on scene before 7:30 a.m. cleaning things up.

“We’re just very happy it did not hit the stage,” Eckhardt said.

(ABOUT THE PHOTO: Crews working on Wednesday morning in Frankfort Square.)

Eckhardt and Parks and Recreation Aquatic Coordinator Joe Krepel on Wednesday morning were on their way to Memorial Stadium to move the sideline benches that blew onto the field turf during the storm. But the seating was the least of the issues.

The storm resulted in part of a tree falling on a light pole and taking out some powerlines over by the west shelter in Pawnee Park.

“Loup Power has disconnected the lines so it’s safe, but we recommend while people are out working to stay away from the west shelter area,” Eckhardt.

Eckhardt said there were tree limbs scattered throughout Pawnee and Glur parks due to the storm, adding she was not yet sure of damage in other City parks early Wednesday morning.

(ABOUT THE PHOTO: A panel of glass outside the Columbus Community Building along 14th Street was shattered and boarded up Tuesday night.)

The Columbus Community Building, 2500 14th St., also fell victim to the storm. Shortly after 7 p.m., a twisted bench outside the front of the building along 14th Street was moved by the wind and bounced into a glass panel outside on the first level of the library near 26th Avenue and shattering the glass completely before moving further down the street by the exterior building sign. The library was open at the time and there were no injuries, though people were removed.

City staff spent the next couple of hours boarding up the panel, which will ultimately have to be repaired. The shattered glass damaged some of the furniture in the library and pieces of it were in the process of being cleaned up mid-morning.

City Engineer Rick Bogus said the twisted bench that moved and the matching one were already on the building’s punch list to be bolted down, but it just hasn’t happened yet. He said he hoped that would get accomplished soon, noting tables and chairs near the bench did not move.

The C-2 District girls' golf tournament was supposed to commence at 9 a.m. Wednesday at Quail Run, but was pushed back one hour due to storm cleanup. City Public Property Director Doug Moore said crews went in early to remove the branches on the fairways, noting tree limbs were scattered throughout Quail Run and Van Berg. A large tent next to the pro shop at Quail Run was completely destroyed.

Like the golf courses and parks, there was tree damage in Columbus Cemetery that was in the process of being picked up.

“They’re still hanging in the trees,” Moore said, noting no damage was discovered at Roselawn Cemetery.

Meanwhile, the City Street Department anticipates being extremely busy. City Street Superintendent Clete Borchers said the storm damage resulted in six roadways throughout town getting closed: Near 13th Street and 30th Avenue, 18th Street west of 26th Avenue; 7th Street by 18th Avenue; 33rd Avenue by 36th Street; 9th Street by 15th Avenue and a roadway just north of Scotus Central Catholic High School; as well as a street over by Lost Creek Elementary School. The closed roadways had been mostly cleaned up as of late Wednesday morning, with additional work expected to take place within the next day.

“It’s going to take us today and tomorrow,” Borchers said Wednesday.

 Additionally, he noted, a few pedestrian crossings in town will need to be repaired.

Borchers was optimistic crews would get things cleaned up in the near future

“The one fortunate thing is it was quick,” he said. “It could have been a lot worse.”

Platte County Emergency Manager Tim Hofbauer said the storms were strong Tuesday night and encouraged residents to always take precautions when thunderstorms become severe.

“Treat them like a tornado, because you have flying branches and branches falling, broken windows and shattered glass, as evidenced,” Hofbauer said. “My suggestion is to go where you go for a tornado shelter and treat it as that kind of an event.”

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Columbus News

Survey1FINAL

BE A VOTER AND TAKE THE CITY'S ONLINE POLL

Posted on: February 27, 2024
Rick

Q&A with City Engineer Rick Bogus!

Posted on: February 23, 2024
Engineer (1)

It's National Engineers' Week! Get to know our talented team...

Posted on: February 20, 2024 | Last Modified on: November 10, 2022
Water main break

Water main break in town in process of being repaired

Posted on: February 14, 2024 | Last Modified on: November 10, 2022
Fire4

Space heater deemed source of accidental overnight structure fire

Posted on: January 31, 2024 | Last Modified on: November 10, 2022
FIXED

Water main break repaired Saturday night

Posted on: January 13, 2024
AQUATIC

Aquatic Center closed today

Posted on: January 9, 2024
CentennialPark

Upgrades coming to Centennial Park

Posted on: December 29, 2023
NYE (1)

HAPPY NEW YEAR, COLUMBUS!

Posted on: January 1, 2024
Council2024

LOOKING BACK ON 2023, PREPARING FOR 2024

Posted on: December 22, 2023
HYDRANT FLUSHING

Fall hydrant flushing coming up next week

Posted on: September 18, 2023
Bandshell

Frankfort Square band shell spray painted

Posted on: September 12, 2023
City of Power and Progress.png

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

Posted on: August 25, 2023