WEATHER EVENT THAT CHANGED LIVES

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24TH, 2020.-


🖊 MSN WEATHER 📸 NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE

EF5 TOPEKA, KANSAS ON JUNE 8TH, 1966


Around 7 p.m., the tornado formed west of Auburn, Kansas, which is part of the Topeka metropolitan area. Once it reached Topeka, the tornado cut a path that was, at times, a half-mile wide across the city’s center. After leaving the downtown area, the storm weakened and eventually dissipated just east of Philip Billard Municipal Airport.

The arrival of the storm contradicted a Native American legend, which foretold that the city would be protected by Burnett’s Mound — the highest point around Topeka, which was also a sacred Native American burial ground. Five years prior to the tornado, a water tank had been built on top of the mound, and some believed the tornado was a form of retribution.

Tornado's Damage to the Economy

Tornado’s actual cost: $250,000,000

Cost adjusted to 2019 dollars: $1,984,604,240

Classified as an EF5 tornado, the wind speeds were estimated to have exceeded 250 mph. Because the tornado cut a path through the city’s center, complete devastation occurred on an eight-block section. Every structure on the Washburn University campus sustained significant damage or was demolished, totaling $10 million in damage. Other sections of the downtown area, including the state Capitol dome, took damage from flying debris. Throughout the city, 3,000 homes were damaged and 800 were destroyed. In all, the tornado inflicted 550 injuries and caused 17 deaths.

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