Update from the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office:
Clean up and recovery efforts continue this morning as a result of the devastating tornado that struck Baxter Springs on Sunday evening.
At this time:
• Military Avenue between 12th and the Oklahoma State Line continues to remain closed due to downed power lines
• It is estimated that approximately 40% of town remains without power, although crews have been working throughout the night to restore power
• Kansas Gas Service has natural gas related issues resolved and 91 customers have had their gas service shut down
• Contractors wishing to do business in Baxter Springs will have to obtain a permit (proof of insurance and identification of all employees required). They can obtain the permit at City Hall (take Park Avenue south of 12th Street to 15th)
• Nobody will be authorized in the damaged area without identification showing they reside there or if they have received a volunteer / fami ly ID issued at the Baxter Springs High School
• Residents are asked to separate their debris curbside (away from water / utility meters). Limbs should be separated from construction debris.
• Limbs may also be taken to the city landfill on West 12th Street.
• Donations of food, water can be taken to the First Baptist Church at 10th and East Avenue. NO CLOTHING DONATIONS ARE REQUESTED AT THIS TIME.
• Financial donations can be made to the America Red Cross
• We can confirm that the death reported last night was a 58 year old woman and the death was medical related, not physical trauma.
There were no reported incidents throughout the night, and law enforcement continues to maintain a heavy presence in the damaged area.
Anyone working or volunteering within the affected will be asked to show identification before entering the damaged area and may be asked additional times, as well.
We ask that residents understand that this is due to efforts to insure only those with a purpose, and not would be thieves, are accessing damaged property.
Anyone needing assistance from emergency services can call the Baxter Springs Police Department at 620-856-2112 or go to the Baxter Springs Community Building at 11th and East Avenue where the Red Cross is running the shelter.
Over the course of the night, 17 residents took advantage of the shelters due to damage to their homes.