CLAY CENTER (KSNT) – Severe storms that moved through northeast Kansas this week caused minimal damage across the area. But one damage report was a first for a local entrepreneur.
Clay County Kansas Emergency Management said assessors with the National Weather Service determined a tornado likely touched down northeast of Oak Hill on Tuesday evening. The office received damage reports from across the county of limbs down and washed out county roads. But one of Clay Center’s local bakers filed a report the emergency manager said brought a tear to her eye.
Nancy Kimbrough is well known in Clay Center for her baking, especially her pies. For years, she and her family ran Maury’s Family Restaurant. When they decided to close the business last June, Kimbrough started selling her baking wares at the Clay Center Farmer’s Market.
Kimbrough said her son was delivering some of her baked goods to the Clay Center Country Club for its weekly dinner on Tuesday afternoon just as the storm arrived. She said the wind was so strong, it ripped the meringue top right off a coconut cream pie and splattered it across the parking lot.
“There’s no weight to meringue. It’s just air, mostly, so it took off,” Kimbrough said.
Despite the wind damage, the kitchen decided to go ahead and serve the pie to guests.
“He was digging the Cool Whip out of the freezer,” Kimbrough said. “He goes, ‘Don’t worry about it… We’ll fix it.'”
Kimbrough isn’t sure whether diners knew about the last-second pie repair, but said it turned out just fine. Her strawberry rhubarb, another local favorite, made it to dinner without incident.
Kimbrough said this is the first time she’s lost a pie to the Kansas wind.
“I think it’s funny. I really do. I think it’s something that’s it’s just kind of comical. It’ll probably never happen again,” Kimbrough said.
She said she was happy to let her son Caleb, who also enjoys storm chasing, make the delivery in the inclement weather.
“My husband, he passed away a few years ago, but he was a storm chaser. And so the boys grew up that way. When there was a tornado, they were gone… They’re not afraid of it at all. I gladly let him make that delivery for me,” Kimbrough said.
If you’d like to try out one of Kimbrough’s pies, she’ll be at the Clay Center Farmer’s Market every weekend through October. In addition to pies, Kimbrough also offers a variety of other baked goods, including cinnamon rolls and banana bread. The market is open from 8-11 a.m. Saturdays on the west side of the courthouse square in downtown Clay Center.