After I returned from Manhattan, Kansas, I thought of it as a wonderful, magical place where I would always be able to return, to see birds and photograph lots of native wildlife, to find a warm and safe place with my good friends, Dave and Elizabeth. (I am sure all of you know Dave quite well, since his gorgeous photographs are often featured as the "Image of the Day" on this site.) But while I was preoccupied with my imaginings, I was reminded once again today that things can change, and change dramatically in the blink of an eye.
Last night, a tornado raged through Manhattan, Kansas, trashing Kansas State University and killing two people in that state. Fortunately, my friends, Dave and Elizabeth and all their loved ones are doing fine, although they are shaken up a bit.
But the campus is damaged. Even though the biology building, Ackert Hall, where Dave's office is located, is just fine, sadly, Bushnell Hall, where most of the ecologists are housed, is seriously damaged [see Dave's slide show]. Additionally, it appears that the English Building where Elizabeth's office is located is also damaged (both Dave and Elizabeth are professors at KSU). I recognize most of these buildings because I wandered the campus for a few days, photographing it, while absorbing the cleansing and healing atmosphere of a college campus. The damages to the University campus are estimated between $20-30 million. But not everyone is upset since today's classes were canceled.
If you would like to help the good people who live in tornado damaged areas throughout the states of Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas, including the "Little Apple" of Manhattan, you can donate to the Salvation Army online or call at 1-800-SAL-ARMY. The Red Cross is providing emergency shelter for those who need it in Riley, Pottawatomie and Jackson counties. If you are a concerned family member seeking information about your loved ones, the Red Cross can help you with their online Safe and Well list or you can call 1-800-RED-CROSS.