Editors note: the Bronson area was declared a disaster this afternoon and Kelly Perry sent this information:
A storm passed through western Bourbon County in the early morning on April 5, 2023.
“I heard a roaring outside,” resident Kayla Greenway said. “My window was open and the air was going in and out, suctioning. The wind had dust in it.”
When the storm abated she went out side and took pictures.
Bronson City Clerk Danielle Minor said there were trees toppled over, all across the small town of approximately 300 people.
“There were power poles down,” Minor said. “There was a lot of electrical issues.”
The City of Bronson purchases electricity wholesale from Evergy (an electric utility company), but runs its own utility.
“Our superintendent, John Stokes, (was) out since 12:30 a.m. trying to restore electricity,” Minor said. “The Bourbon County Public Works helped remove debris from the streets.”
“The Bourbon County #3 District Fire Department was here making sure all the electric wires were OK,” Ellen Harper, a resident said.
“Two firetrucks and a Bourbon County Sheriff’s car were going around town assessing power line damage and making sure everyone was OK,” Minor said.
In addition, there was a reported gas leak, because of the storm.
“There was a gas leak at Charles and Wright Streets,” John Stokes, maintenance superintendent for the City of Bronson said. “The Bourbon County Fire Department tried to patch it and evacuated residents around that area. They called the Kansas Gas Service and they came and fixed it.”
Bronson City Councilwoman and business owner Kelly Perry heard a sound about 1 a.m.
“I thought it was a water line burst,” she said. “We knew we had multiple power lines down and could smell the rotten egg smell outside.”
“The crews went out and made repairs on a regulator setting that was damaged by a fallen tree, due to bad weather,” Kansas Gas Service Manager of Public Relations Dawn Tripp, said.
Other residents had first hand knowledge of the storm.
“We had a tree hit the window and broke it and woke me up,” Harper said.
Resident Helen Bolling said “The wind shook our house like a cracker box.”
Greenway said before the storm, the family turned the children’s trampoline upside down and put logs on it in hopes of making it secure.
“My trampoline flew into a neighbors tree, and I don’t know where the logs went,” she said.
Bronson Locker had its roof torn off, Bolling said.
As of this morning, April 6, the town still has clean-up going on, Perry said.
“The street in front of City Hall and the Bronson Locker is still closed,” Perry said. “But there is good headway on the clean-up.”