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The hundred year storm hits Perkins County

By S. Goff

One Year Ago
July 14, 2011
The museum rededication ceremony proved to be a big success with nearly 200 in attendance that Fourth of July.  Brenda Styskal wiped away tears of joy at the ceremony as she cut the ribbon signifying all the years of hard work paying off. She was joined by nearly 40 volunteers in bringing the museum back to life after water damage began a series of unfortunate events that should have been the demise of the museum entirely.
A large storm ripped through Perkins County, hitting Brandon and Venango particularly hard. Heavy hail, rain and high winds crushed crops, tore down pivots, and wiped out power lines. Brandon initially reported at least 500 acres of damage to their crops. The drain system in Venango could not handle the nearly seven inches of rain that fell in about two hours time, which left major flooding along the highway.

Ten Years Ago
July 11, 2002
Parts of Perkins County were completely under water after a slue of freak storms. The amount was arguable, but measurements came in at above 11 inches of rain in two days. The amount of damage was extensive. It was estimated that the damage to the roads alone was upwards of $400,000. There were at least 20 roads that were impassible. The initial estimate of crop damage was at about 43,000 acres. Farmer Dan Borowski joked, “I should be raising rice right now.” The storm was so severe it was being called “the flood of 2002” and “the hundred year storm.”

Twenty-five Years Ago
January 15, 1987
An accident involving four vehicles occurred just 3 miles west of Elsie on Highway 23 on a Tuesday afternoon around 1 p.m. The accident involved a mower tractor, a Buick Century automobile, a grain truck and a semi trailer, but thankfully there were no serious injuries. Jim Stivers was operating the mower, which was severed in two by the incident, he was thrown off the tractor onto the pavement. All four vehicles had been traveling the same direction at the time of the crash and they were unable to determine a cause.

Fifty Years Ago
July 12, 1962
A 62-year-old man, Louis Guszak,  drowned in Lake McConaughy while fishing from a boat with a friend, Rich Shanahan. High winds swamped the boat and both men were trying to bail out the water when they were thrown out. Shanahan had been wearing a life jacket and Guszak had not. Shanahan became entangled in fishing lines and hooks momentarily, but upon breaking free, he threw a life jacket to his partner.  The victim seemed to have gone into shock almost immediately and despite the efforts of his friend and later  from the crew of Ogallala firemen, Guszak could not be revived.

Seventy-Five Years Ago
July 15, 1937
The Barnica family of Big Springs had been camping in Wyoming and realized before lunch on Sunday that their 7-year-old son, Lee, had wandered away from camp. Several search parties were organized and they scoured the woods in the area with no success. Monday before noon the boy walked into a camp of a fishing party and reported to them that he had been out “bear hunting.” The family was relieved to have Lee back home after a little over 24 hours missing in the wilderness.