Workers save district’s food after storm knocks out power


High winds and heavy rains brought down tree limbs and power lines in Emporia Wednesday.

EMPORIA, Kan. (KSNT) – High winds and heavy rains brought down tree limbs and power lines in Emporia Wednesday. The power went out at two Emporia schools, canceling classes and causing concern inside.

The downed power lines were down all around Emporia High and Flint Hills Technical College campuses causing classes to be canceled. Luckily Wednesday was a late start for the high school students so no one was left stranded at school.

“We were able to get everyone contacted, let parents know, let our staff know that there wouldn’t be school at the high school today,” said Lyndel Landgren, a spokesperson for USD 253.

Workers got started right away to get the campus cleared from limbs and fallen trees, but the building sitting without power also means the lunch food needs to stay cold.

Denise Kater and her staff rushed all morning to load the food for the entire district into this truck. They had to hurry to make sure none of the food went bad.

“Some of the ladies were having to temp it to make make sure it hadn’t went out of temp,” said Kater. “If it did go out of temp we would have to throw it out and we did have to throw a few things out.”

After a few hours of work, the entire freezer was unloaded and put on a refrigerated truck to wait until the power came back on. Kater said this was the first time something like this has happened in her career.

“If it wasn’t for our custodial staff and maintenance staff, I don’t think we could have made it.”

Westar was able to get the power back on so both schools should resume classes on Thursday.

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