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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.”


Maddy Griffin 8 years ago

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

appleaday 8 years ago

I was 10 and it was my grandmother's birthday. We lived only a few blocks from Washburn.

Maddy Griffin 8 years ago

We lived about 1/2 mile from Burnett's mound. Scariet thing I've ever been through. I had an Aunt who lived across Washburn from the University. I remember her asking a National Guardsman if he could stop walking on her cast-iron gate so she could pick it up. The tourists were out in full force as soon as the storm was over.

mistygreen 8 years ago

I was 4 years old. Did not get to see it, and I really did not know what was going on at the time. I remember bits and pieces like my mom covering my ears when the thing passed over. I also remember my sister and I being passed around to other relatives so my parent could focus on clean up and rebuilding. I also remember getting a lot of our meals from the Salvation Army. We lost everything. I don't know if I could handle something like that if it happened to me today.

riverdrifter 8 years ago

Four that I can think of and no chasing.

Mike Hatch 8 years ago

I remember those T-shirts! Some kids were wearing them when it was time to go back to school the fall after that tornado.

When that tornado hit, I was in Bonner Springs at Boy Scout camp. We were all out in the rain and the mud laying in a ditch while it went thru. Long line of kids at the pay phone calling home when it was finally over. I remember trying to call home (out by Lone Star) and just kept getting a busy signal and freaking out. The phones were just out, everything was OK there.

looza 8 years ago 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.

Boston_Corbett 8 years ago

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

Rex Russell 8 years ago

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

riverdrifter 8 years ago

That was one of mine, Rex. It was a monster.

Sharon Aikins 8 years 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.

Richard Payton 8 years 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.

Kontum1972 8 years ago


Maddy Griffin 8 years ago

My grandparents had a cow stuck in the tree in their back yard. Poor cow, she survived but was terribly frightened by the wind after that. It took 6 hours to get her down. After that she kind of decided she was a dog and tried to follow everyone in the back door of their farm house. You had to be really careful with the back door cus she was right there any time anyone came or went through that door.

FredGarvin_MP 8 years 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.

Kirk Larson 8 years 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!

Kris_H 8 years 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.

Flap Doodle 8 years ago

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

mom_of_three 8 years 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.

whats_going_on 8 years 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.

Deja Coffin 8 years 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.

ohjayhawk 8 years 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.

Ron Holzwarth 8 years 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".

Chris Ogle 8 years ago

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

jonas_opines 8 years ago

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


ndnkorn 8 years 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.

Chrissy Neibarger 8 years 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!

d_prowess 8 years ago

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

Deja Coffin 8 years ago

Bow I wish R_I, that would sure make married life easier!

Linda Aikins 8 years 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?

Linda Aikins 8 years 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.

persevering_gal 8 years ago

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

Linda Aikins 8 years ago

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

trinity 8 years ago

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

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