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Have you ever seen a tornado?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on May 12, 2010

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Photo of Tammy McGrew

“Yes I have, about 20 years ago on a baseball field. We got in our cars and drove as fast as we could.”

Photo of Carlos De Zemacona

“Yes, last year east of Lawrence. We saw the clouds rotating and later we saw it touch down.”

Photo of Melissa Rutherford

“Yes I have, in Tulsa. I thought it was awesome.”

Photo of O.J. Bell

“Yes, back in the ‘80s off of Kmart, off 31st Street.”

Comments

thebcman 3 years, 11 months ago

Wow. Reading this complete thread is like riding out a tornado. Sorry for your loss Spacehog. I've never seen a tornado, but I was holed up in the basement of Litwin's in Ark City during the one in the early 80's that smacked the Auditorium/Gymnasium (former ACHS now Cowley College). It blew out a huge panel of storefront glass, and popped open a basement window on the Western Wear side that would never again shut properly. The one that smacked Ark City two days ago roughed up my in-law's land pretty good, but thankfully no injuries.

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The_Original_Bob 3 years, 11 months ago

"The 2 most precious things to me are freedom and total autonomy."

You and I are going to get along really well.

As far as Dr. Jack... eh, I don't know. I do know when I'm diagnosed with my terminal illness, I'm going to ride it out. Full cycle of life. The good and the bad. The enjoyment and pain. And then when I'm done with the corpse, burn it and move on.

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Bob Kraxner 3 years, 11 months ago

^^^^^^When's the wedding ? sounds like you two are in love ! ! ! One question... which one of you is going to wear the dress ? ?

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spacehog 3 years, 11 months ago

Deal, Bob. And in response to your earlier question: In 1992, while I was living in Hawaii, Hurricane Eva struck. You should have seen all the idiots lined up at Food Pantry, the biggest rip-off store on the island. They were buying batteries, water, useless crap like that. Me? I went to my favorite liquor store around the corner and bought a pint of tequila and a 6 pack of beer, I have no memory of the storm, but Oahu got very liittle damage, Mostly on the west side of the island. Kaui got whacked. BTW, are you a fan of Jack Kevorkian, aka Dr. Death? I sure as hell am. The 2 most precious things to me are freedom and total autonomy.

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The_Original_Bob 3 years, 11 months ago

Spacehog =

When you die, I don't want to live, so Autie and RI can build two pyres and it'll be a hell of a party.

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spacehog 3 years, 11 months ago

And you're not getting any scratch from me. No obit. And I'm gonna have a Funeral Pyre out in the country. I'm hoping Autie will bring a bunch of firewood, fish, and gasoline. If not, I know I can depend on Ret. And after I'm burnt to a crisp, you might want to eat what's left. I guarantee you''ll get a hell of a buzz.

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spacehog 3 years, 11 months ago

I just learned something vulgar. The LJW charges $150-$250 for a decent obituary. I always had a feeling The Word Company was a monopolistic, evil empire, but can you guys draw a line somewhere? Christ. I also found out that it costs $1200 to be an organ DONOR. Well, take me off the list. I bet the LJW gets a cut of it. Lawrence Journal WalMart. You people make me sick. I'm just waiting for the bill for the 12,000,000 comments I've posted.

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spacehog 3 years, 11 months ago

Cool, CW! Yeah, Lafayette is a straight up guy. And Betty was a Saint. There were only 2 people on this earth who understood my alcoholism. My Grammy and Betty. Coach and I have always been kind of distant. When I first met him I always reeked of booze and I think I was partly responsible for turning his church-going son into a drinker. But that was in HS and, unlike me, he knew when to stop. Anyway, I love Coach, and occasionally have good chat with him. I;m glad you know him and Darnell, too!

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trinity 3 years, 11 months ago

yes. i have seen a tornado. now, who's up for the katie tornady drinking game?

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CWGOKU 3 years, 11 months ago

Sorry to hear that. I never met Betty. I met Lafayette when he recruited my brother and I knew Darnell at KU. Good folks all.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 3 years, 11 months ago

space, I just had to say a name with Something Von Something, and none of Lute Olsen's boy's were Something Von Somethings.

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Bob Kraxner 3 years, 11 months ago

I have seen tornadoes over the ocean and on land, in Texas,Okla. Mo. Ia. and Ohio... but there is nothing quite like being in one, albeit a small one, that hit Gladstone and Liberty Mo.in 2004. Some of the neighbors post dated checks were found falling from the sky 70 miles north of where they were picked up.

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spacehog 3 years, 11 months ago

Autie, you're always cool in my book. When I was at KU, I was a spoiled frat boy. Don't take note of that because I'm ashamed of it and I don't like people to know. Frat boys used to call non-frat boys GDI's -God Damned Independants. I've always dug being independent, so I moved out after a couple of years. I know you're a hick. But you're a genuine, cool hick, thru and thru. I admire you, except I always feel sorry for fish. If I had it to do over again, I would have joined the Omegas, an all-black frat where you have to get the Omega symbol branded on your shoulder. And I loves me the ebony women. But they probably wouldn't have accepted me in 1983. Anyway, since the frat boy nightmare, I've been a non-joiner. I'm agnostic, not politically affiliated, but I have a gym membership. One time though, this Foghorn Leghorn type from Virginia that lived across the street from me in Hawaii invited me to join the Masons. Seriously. I should have done it. Those guys are probably rolling in dough. But, I'm just a non-joiner.

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spacehog 3 years, 11 months ago

Dita Von Teese.... Is that Marilyn Manson's whore or Jesse James' whore? BTW, Jesse James is not related in the least to outlaw/cowboy Jesse James. And neither is Tommy "The Hick Cheese" Morrison related to John Wayne. Career boosters, I guess......

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autie 3 years, 11 months ago

I hope you weren't one of those K-Sate hicks throwing rubber bananas at him with "Donnie Von" written on them.

spacey my boy......tsk, tsk, tsk....he might not have been the prettiest, but he was by god on my team......If I was on of those purple pukes I would have killed myself a long time ago. I'm a KU hick through and through....I know it breaks the mold of the classic JoCo polo shirted, penny loafered boy...but there it is.

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spacehog 3 years, 11 months ago

Autie, I'm disappointed. Donnie was not what you would call "handsome". But he had the guts of a heavyweight champ. During his time at KU, he contracted severe peumonia.They had to slice his back open. He still has the scars. I hope you weren't one of those K-Sate hicks throwing rubber bananas at him with "Donnie Von" written on them. BTW, Coach Norwood's son is my best friend. He stil has one of those "souvenir" bananas.

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autie 3 years, 11 months ago

Donnie Von Moore. What a handsome lad....whew...

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spacehog 3 years, 11 months ago

Autie, I miss the marginal teams. A while back I heard some punk say "Well, KU better win a national championship while I'm here!" Did he even know what the odds of that are?! I bet we started going to the games around the same time. Remember that game against Misery, when that huge fight broke out and carried on to the rubber track under the stands? Classic. I bet Donnie Von tuned some of those pukes up!

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spacehog 3 years, 11 months ago

Good memory, Autie! I started going to the games when Herb Nobles was about a senior, I think. Ken Koenigs had one hell of a white man afro! My all-time fave, and always will be, is Donnie Von Moore. I have a basketball, signed in '80, by the whole team. Donnie wrote me "Good luck from a Big 8 Champ" , cuz he knew I liked him. Man. I remember when they got in the Tourney, pretty rare in those days. Curt Gowdey kept saying Darrell Valentine and Clint Jones. As I remember, KU got screwed by the officials in that UCLA game. Old times. Great Times!

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autie 3 years, 11 months ago

I sure remember Darnell Valentine...that was back when I was a kid..him and Herb Nobles and Ken Koenigs...One marginal basketball team, made the tournament and got smoked by UCLA as I recall. but he was an outstanding guard...good floor vision.

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Gootsie 3 years, 11 months ago

I'm sorry for your loss spacehog. I can't really pick on you today. Sad times for the hog.

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spacehog 3 years, 11 months ago

Darnell and Lafayette are super nice guys. Last time I saw Darnell was 2004, at coach and Betty's 50th wedding anniversary. Man, Darnell doesn't look a day older than when he left KU. I'll probaly be seeing him at the funeral, Been bawling most of today.

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persevering_gal 3 years, 11 months ago

Yes! Three at one time, but none in which touched the ground.

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spacehog 3 years, 11 months ago

On a serious note, Betty Norwood died yesterday. Anyone remember Darnell Valentine? If you don't, he came to play for KU basketball in the late '70's. Lafayette Norwoood was his coach in HS in Wichita, somewhat kinda came along with the deal, He coached for Ted Owens for a number of years. He also had a number of AAU teams after coaching at KU. He coached Wyane Semian sice he was 11. Anyway, his son, Cory, and I have been best friends for 30 years. His mom, Betty, was a gift sent from God. She knew I had problems, she knew about my alcoholism, and she always supported me. I will always love you, Mrs. Norwood, May God Bless You..

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Gootsie 3 years, 11 months ago

Oh the question. I saw one when I was very young by Hutchinson. But as a big girl, I have lived in Kansas all my life, and saw my first tornado in Charleston, South Carolina.

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Machiavelli_mania 3 years, 11 months ago

One time, when I was very young, playing in my yard in W. Kansas, my very stern grandfather was at our homestead, servicing some tractor or other machine, when he called me over to him. We walked to his pickup and he lifted me up into the bed of the truck, and pointed westward. There, approximately 10 miles away, were two graceful twin tornados dancing around each other. He assured me, tho I had given it no thought whatsoever, that no one lived in that area, so there was no harm being done. We stood and watched The Dance for about 5 minutes. They didn't not move far from the spot where we first saw them. Then the curtain came down on the tornados' final step (which means they went back up into the clouds). It was a thing of beauty.

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Multidisciplinary 3 years, 11 months ago

I'll see if I can find this one woman's site. I was checking out some event going on down these parts, through this person's fb page, trying to figure out what 'something was', finally got to more of the head honcho. That was the 'ah hah' moment, confirming my suspicions for this particular group of activities I was looking at. Lots and lots of people out there in the world, setting up things, businesses, hoping to convince people they need to participate in mindful, spiritual, holistic, getting in touch with yourself, back to nature, and come join us to do it...and we'll only charge you $150 for the day.

And they've come to the Flint Hills, because you know, some folks don't always trust doctors or real therapists, but they'll go to a chiropractor to cure their allergies, wear copper bracelets, use emu oil, and get special deep therapeutic massages to cure their ills because it hurts.

They have circuits they travel,having different activities for people to come do while they talk or not. They promote each others activities so each can profit and keep people participating regularly. Trying to get more and more locals involved through fb, word of mouth. The computer that I looked that up on hasn't got internet now, so I don't know if I can find her.

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The_Original_Bob 3 years, 11 months ago

"Wait - what should a person buy on the day the tornadoes are going to haul them away?"

Ask Spacehog.

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Gootsie 3 years, 11 months ago

TOB, have you ever been in a Turkish prison?

We survived our Monday by pure luck - managed to be behind all the storms in Oklahoma and up I-35. Now today is when we will die? I'm going SHOPPING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wait - what should a person buy on the day the tornadoes are going to haul them away?

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Multidisciplinary 3 years, 11 months ago

Happy Birthday charliejohnson!

Not sure I'm up for the writing Py, but I was thinking, seeing as how I'm a loner now, maybe I ought to hang out in the suck zones. That would be a lot better way to go than getting older. That way, like Heath Ledger's line in Brokeback, my kids could say, 'There was one tornado in KS that day, and it ate my momma". They are just that type that could say that with a side bob of the head,wrinkle of the brow, but also a smile. ;)

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oskiejackie 3 years, 11 months ago

i have seen the tornado in the white house and it is major sucking

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 3 years, 11 months ago

Damn, $150 a half hour? I have seen outcall ads in the Pitch for cheaper than that. What does Ms. Rodanda charge?

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Multidisciplinary 3 years, 11 months ago

Holistic/life/business do it from your home business for women and a few men of this generation. No medical license is required or medical profession training, although some have some experience/connection with the trade. Online certification sites abound. As in, those that didn't make the money they thought they would patting people on the back saying 'stick to your goals, you can do it, but it will cost you $50 a session, and I'll give $5 off if you pay for 6 sessions up front", figure out they can sucker more people into the business and make more money by setting up a website offering certifications.Also seems to be something some technical colleges are picking up on, like massage therapists, other trendy vocations.

Those that get really notable, I've seen sites saying private phone conversations are $150 for half hour. Guru/celebrity status. Much like Cleo on those ads on tv long ago, without the tarot cards. Here is a search page just to give you an idea of how many certification sites there are. Much like the old become an ordained minister by mail. ;) http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=uUu&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&ei=a9PqS4-ELIj98AbSov3xAw&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&ct=result&cd=1&ved=0CCQQBSgA&q=life+coach+certification+online&spell=1

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 3 years, 11 months ago

Plus, proving once again that you know everything is never a bad thing. - Deja

I don't know what they call that in Eudora, but round these here parts they call that having a kitten-whipped husband.

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d_prowess 3 years, 11 months ago

What does the job of a "Life Coach" in Tulsa entail exactly?

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fleeba 3 years, 11 months ago

I was sitting in the Appleby's parking lot on Iowa when I saw the one that hit the Aberdeen apartments drop down and go back up. Exciting and scary all at the same time. I am a true Kansan... sirens start going off, we get the dogs into the car and start looking around to see if we can see one!

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 3 years, 11 months ago

I was just watching as my spousal unit and youngest devil spawn were carried off by The Tornado. They were picked up, and traveled along for a bit before being carried high, high up in the sky. Then they started a fairly steep dive, the spousal unit had her hands waving, but the young-in was white as a sheet. They did the climb/dive twice more before their ride ended.

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ndnkorn 3 years, 11 months ago

My family and I were fishing @ Pomona Resevoir, not sure of the date. Hot, humid day. Turned into a thunderstorm which spawned a large tornado. We watched it come over the dam and hit the water. Pretty spooky, since I was just a puppy at the time. The waterspout hit a replica river showboat named "The Whipporwill" Flipped the boat upside down. Some folks were trapped in the air pockets all night. Was a really tragic thing....but strangely beautiful. I live in Wisconsin now and really miss the excitement of the powerful storms in the Lawrence area.

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jonas_opines 3 years, 11 months ago

Of course I have. Haven't you ever seen Twister? I'm the bad guy.

Joooooonnnnaaaasssss!!!!

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autie 3 years, 11 months ago

did I ever tell you bout the time the high wind blowed the limb out of the tree and it landed on the condensing coil of the still?

Happy Birthday, charliejohnson.

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CWGOKU 3 years, 11 months ago

Maybe... It might have been Spacehog going through a liqour store. Not sure. Could have been the Tzmanian Devil. Same thing.

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Chris Ogle 3 years, 11 months ago

Nope... Maybe I should stop looking at the ground

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The_Original_Bob 3 years, 11 months ago

Have I ever seen a tornado? Have you ever seen a grown man naked?

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 11 months ago

I'm not sure how many I've seen. A few, though! The first one was when I was only about five. I just couldn't understand why my parents were making such a big deal of a cloud with a tail. Mom told us boys, "You'll hardly ever get a chance to see a tornado like this."

It was 30 or so miles in the distance. Sure, it was a cloud with a tail. Big deal. That was the day I Iearned the word "tornado".

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ohjayhawk 3 years, 11 months ago

No... and I even went chasing during my time out there. We were close once (and in a bad position - rotating wall cloud coming right at us), but if it came down we had retreated too far into the rain to see it.

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autie 3 years, 11 months ago

from noaa: THERE WILL BE A WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY OF A FEW HOURS FOR RELATIVELY DISCRETE SUPERCELLS WITH ISOLATED TORNADOES AND VERY LARGE HAIL THIS AFTERNOON/EVENING...FROM NW OK INTO CENTRAL/NE KS AND NRN MO. MORE ISOLATED DISCRETE STORMS MAY ALSO FORM LATE THIS AFTERNOON ALONG THE REMNANT DRYLINE ACROSS SW OK AND NW TX. LATER THIS EVENING...UPSCALE GROWTH INTO CLUSTERS/LINES IS EXPECTED IN RESPONSE TO A LINEAR FOCUS FOR CONVECTIVE INITIATION ALONG THE FRONT AND LARGELY FRONT-PARALLEL DEEP-LAYER FLOW/SHEAR VECTORS. THUS...LARGE HAIL AND DAMAGING WINDS WILL BECOME THE PRIMARY SEVERE THREATS OVERNIGHT...ALONG WITH AN INCREASING THREAT FOR LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL.

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Deja Coffin 3 years, 11 months ago

We were driving from Valley Falls to Oskalooosa and saw a low cloud with a tail in the distance and I kept telling my husband, "you watch, that thing is going to turn into a tornado." And of course he just nodded nicely and said, "okay honey." He didn't even slightly believe me. Not ten minutes later it had turned into a tornado and he's screaming, "look look, it really did turn into a tornado!!" I played it cool like, yeah duh, I knew that was going to happen but to be honest I had no clue, I thought I was just giving him a line of BS. Pretty neat to see though. Plus, proving once again that you know everything is never a bad thing.

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autie 3 years, 11 months ago

A true Kansan stands on the porch when the sirens go off.

Last time we had them sirens going off (three years ago) my neighbor and I stood out in the middle of the street and watched the dirt funnel go by on the west side of town. That be about as close as I want to ever get. I was driving home from work when the sirens started. I thought my radio was freaking out....until I rolled down the window.

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whats_going_on 3 years, 11 months ago

Twice driving out to colorado, I've hit thunderstorms in Abilene. Both times, a tornado, both times stuck in the exact same gas station. Weird.

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mom_of_three 3 years, 11 months ago

Also a lifelong Kansan and have never seen a tornado, except in video after the fact. As a little kid, I was terrified and would high tail it to the basement, which I have done many, many times. In the early 80's, there was one within a few miles of us that must have went over, but not touched down. Didn't touch my sister's tricycle, but moved my dad's tractor with front loader several feet.
Now, after the kids are safe and sound in the basement, I like to peak out and see the clouds. I would love to see a tornado, as long as it isn't coming toward me or over my head.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 11 months ago

Get your bike helmet on now & avoid the panic later.

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The_Original_Bob 3 years, 11 months ago

"Original Bob, if not today, someday."

Indeed. However, if the sun comes out today, we are all finished.

"Lifelong Kansan and never. Possibly because if the sirens go off, I'm taking cover? "

A true Kansan stands on the porch when the sirens go off.

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Kirk Larson 3 years, 11 months ago

I saw one in eastern Colorado. Been through a few in Kansas but I was in the basement or other hidey hole and did not see them. I love Kansas weather though!

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Kris_H 3 years, 11 months ago

Lived in Kansas my whole life, have only seen a few funnels aloft, none that touched down.

Been hunkered down in the basement a number of times, though.

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g_rock 3 years, 11 months ago

Lifelong Kansan and never. Possibly because if the sirens go off, I'm taking cover?

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Kontum1972 3 years, 11 months ago

I SAW A COW GET SUCKED UP IN ONE....PRETTY COOL!

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FredGarvin_MP 3 years, 11 months ago

I'm with BABBOY, lived in Kansas almost 55 years and have never seen one. Although I have seen a few hole in ones.

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Richard Payton 3 years, 11 months ago

The first one I saw was only 1/2 mile away that did little damage since it only touched down on a golf course. The third tornado I show was off K-10 a few years ago but it was a few miles away. The second tornado I spotted was at 27th St. in Lawrence when the Dillons store was at that location. That tornado was headed straight towards us but it lifted by the tower south of town.

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redmoonrising 3 years, 11 months ago

I've seen two, one close up, one not so close. Or should I say I've seen the debris thrown up by them?

Original Bob, if not today, someday.

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BABBOY 3 years, 11 months ago

No. Life long Kansas and I travel a lot.

I also play a lot golf and have only seen one hole in one. So, it can happen at any time.

I have seen the very beginning of a funnel cloud on K-10 back in all the storms in 1993. But, while it did touch ground at some point around Eudora, it was rain wrapped by the time it officially would have been considered an official tornado and I did not see it in that form. I have also driven through tornado warnings on too many two lane highways in Western Kansas but never actually saw the tornado.....

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 3 years, 11 months ago

Said Einstein I have an equation Which some people may think Rabelaisian Let V be Virginity approaching Infinity And P be a constant Persuasion

Now if V over P be inverted And the root of P be inserted X times into V The result, QED Is a relative, Einstein asserted.

Happy Limerick Day!

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autie 3 years, 11 months ago

Can one see the wind? Or can one only see what the wind is blowing? No one can see a tornado. Only the dirt and debris it kicks up.

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Rex Russell 3 years, 11 months ago

Saw the F4 or F5 that ripped up Hesston KS back in the early '90s. It was huge.

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Boston_Corbett 3 years, 11 months ago

Spacehog? Spacehog? .......your public awaits your observation.....

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 3 years, 11 months ago

Seen a tornado? Hell I've ridden The Tornado.

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looza 3 years, 11 months ago

yeah.....my mom cleaning the house in record time so she could sit and watch Young & The Restless. She looked like an F-4 wiping the coffee tables and vaccuming the rug.

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riverdrifter 3 years, 11 months ago

Four that I can think of and no chasing.

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Donnuts 3 years, 11 months ago

Oh yeah, the one that fellow above was referring to about Kmart. They even printed shirts saying I survived the tornado of '81. It was real tacky. The thing went right over our house and I mean right over our house. We lived on Ousdahl over by 27th terrace. We watched it retract into the sky. We were almost even with the back of Kmart but a half mile away or less.

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grammaddy 3 years, 11 months ago

yes, June 8th, 1966. My 11th birthday., It tore up Topeka pretty bad.

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