Thursday, March 13, 2014

Hesston Tornado Anniversary





I was only 9 years old when it happened, but I have to say it was a weather event that caught my attention and help accelerate my interest in weather. March 13 is the anniversary of the Hesston tornado that happened back in 1990. There are a few images that I remember quite well, both with a very large tornado that seemed to stay on the ground for a very long time.

Some remember this as the Castleton or Pretty Prairie tornado because that's where it all started. But when it comes to tornadoes, we often remember them for where they do the most damage (or where the fatalities are higher) This tornado had a very lenghty damage path of about 100 miles long as the last sightings of it were in Morris county. It received an F5 rating and one fatality was reported when a large stove fell through the floor of a home and killed a little boy. I think about that little boy every time I visit schools and talk with kids about tornado safety. I remind the students to always think about what is directly above them when going to the basement to take cover. Sure, everyone knows that the basement is the best place to be, but it's easy to forget about the 800-1000 pound objects that could fall and end up on top of us. So I encourage the kids (and even parents too) to think about this when taking cover. Remembering the simple things could be a life saver in the event of another large, destructive tornado, and we know it will happen again at some point living here in Kansas.

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