Topeka, KS Tornado Crushes City, June 1966

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AVERY, in a news conference attended by several public officials, said the loss of uninsured property and insured coverage of private property in Topeka and Manhattan, Kan., is about $56 million.

He added that he's sticking with his earlier "horseback guess" of an overall storm loss of $100 miillion for the Topeka area. Damage at Manhattan and other sections hit by the storm, would run the figure higher, he indicated.
He estimated damage on public property in Shawnee (Topeka) and Riley (Manhattan) counties at about $5.6 million and said this is the figure that would be used in requesting a declaration of sections of the state as a disaster area.
The state has no insurance on its property, he said, but some public related facilities, such as Washburn University, which was hard hit, are insured.

AVERY emphasized that the declaration of sections of Kansas as a disaster area, if it comes, would make funds available for repair or replacement of only public facilities.

He also said the Small Business Administration has received approval for a disaster declaration for its purposes. Thus federal agencies can make low-interest, long-term loans for repair or replacement purposes to businessmen and in some cases for residence and churches.

"This agency can make more aid available to individuals that the disaster declaration," he said. SBA offices are to be opened for loan purposes in Topeka and Manhattan to cover all the tornado areas.

At least 61 injured spent a second night in hospitals. Another 260 received first aid.

Fifteen deaths were counted in Topeka -- hardest hit of several towns which had tornadoes in a brief span Wednesday night. One man was killed about 20 miles northeast at McLouth.

ROBERT JONES, Shawnee County-Topeka civil defense coordinator, said he had no information that anyone was missing.

Lt. FRED FEADER of the Topeka police department said it had been asked to help locate 13 persons, including one family of six. He said officers hoped to complete a check today.

He identified those being sought as:
VIRGIL BYRD, 2957 Highland Court, Topeka.
SHIRLEY and ELIZABETH KEELING, mother and daughter, who lived near 5th and Lime.
ROY and DOROTHY SHEPARD and their four children, no address available.
ROBERT BLANCHARD, no address.
LEO SONDER, no address.
MRS. N. E. CHEESEMAN, 1306 Lane.
MELVIN F. RENNER, no address.

Continued