ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Tornado Season in Tornado Alley

Updated on July 19, 2019
tiffany delite profile image

Kansas weather is a bit crazy y'all! If you're visiting, better have (at minimum) your snow gear, umbrella, and a friend with a basement!

Tornado Outbreak Likely!

Source

Tornado Watch: Wichita, KS in the Bullseye!

On Saturday, April 14, 2012, Wichita, Kansas, became the target of a dangerous storm system that spawned approximately one hundred tornadoes in Kansas alone! Meteorologists had warned over 24 hours in advance that Wichita was particularly susceptible to severe storms and a tornado outbreak. Sources say that this type of advance warning has only been done one other time in history...when the "Tennessee tornadoes" struck in 2006.

Sure enough, around 9pm, the reports of a tornado on the ground headed straight for Wichita began to air on local and national news and then began filling the Facebook newsfeed. About that same time, the tornado sirens began wailing, and while I had been encouraging my kids to get their socks and shoes on all evening (something I always do in Kansas severe weather), they suddenly sprang into action once the threat of a tornado suddenly became very real.

What's Your "Tornado Personality"

When you hear there is a tornado you say:

See results

Tornado Checklist

I hustled our family down to the basement, and we began our checklist:

  1. Candles/matches/flashlights (in case the power goes out)...check.
  2. Fully dressed with shoes/socks/sweater (in case of surviving a direct hit and having to walk around in debris afterwards)...check.
  3. Water/Bread/PBJ/Apples (in case we would get stuck and need to eat)...check.
  4. Cell phone/laptop/IPOD (to stay in touch with concerned family and friends as well as keep tabs on the approaching storm)...check.
  5. Spicy (our cat)...check.

Will It Be Like Greensburg?

While the storm approached, hundreds of thousands of Wichitans huddled in their shelters to wait out the storm and hope for the best. Early reports indicated that the tornado was nearly one mile wide and would come through Wichita near the 135/Kellogg (US HWY 54) interchange. I did the mental math on that and realized that we lived approximately 5 miles due north from that location, and I'm not an expert on tornadoes by any means, but I know that 5 miles isn't very far from a large tornado whose path could shift unexpectedly at any time.

The first image that came to my mind was the damage and devastation from the EF5 tornado that leveled Greensburg, Kansas, in May 2007. I actually drove through Greensburg on my way to Liberal, Kansas, on that fateful friday evening for visitation exchange with my ex-husband. I remember seeing that storm from a distance as I traveled east on US Hwy 54, and I said to my kids, "Oh boy, somebody under those clouds is really getting it tonight", but at the time, I really had no idea just how bad. I headed back to Wichita around 10:00 that evening thinking that I had probably given the worst of the storm time enough to cross US Hwy 54 without us getting in its way, but when I reached Bucklin, Kansas, I was turned around by a deputy who informed me that the entire town of Greensburg, Kansas, had been destroyed by a tornado.

Tornado That Demolished Greensburg

Recovery After the Devasting Greesburg Tornado

Tornado Warning! EF3 Hits Wichita, KS

I quickly snapped back to reality. Although I was tempted to just succumb to full-blown panic, and I realized that I was doing everything that I possibly could in my current situation. As Rhianna, singer/songwriter/superstar, once said, "God has this thing about doing stuff His own way and there really is just nothing you can do about that." I looked at my children with a calm smile, and I told them that I loved them. We quickly went over once again how we would go to the bathroom, shut the door, and wrap the pillows around our heads if it appeared we would take a direct hit, but until we knew we just had to stay alert.

It wasn't much longer until we got the news that the tornado had arrived in Wichita and the southeast side of town was taking a direct hit. Even though we live on the far north side of town, it was still too close for comfort, so we remained in the basement until the storm had completely passed, and we received the "all clear". I smiled at the kids and said, "Well, I guess we are spared tonight." Exhausted, we let our loved ones know we were ok, and suddenly, it was again business as usual.

Aftermath of an EF3 Tornado in Wichita, KS

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Wichita, KS April 15, 2012Wichita, KS April 15, 2012Wichita, KS April 15, 2012Wichita, KS April 15, 2012Wichita, KS April 15, 2012
Wichita, KS April 15, 2012
Wichita, KS April 15, 2012 | Source
Wichita, KS April 15, 2012
Wichita, KS April 15, 2012 | Source
Wichita, KS April 15, 2012
Wichita, KS April 15, 2012 | Source
Wichita, KS April 15, 2012
Wichita, KS April 15, 2012 | Source
Wichita, KS April 15, 2012
Wichita, KS April 15, 2012 | Source

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Tiffany Delite

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • tiffany delite profile imageAUTHOR

      Tiffany Delite 

      6 years ago from Wichita, KS

      thank you so much for your comment, moonlake. and yes, most definitely be careful being in the basement! thank you so much for the vote...blessings!

    • tiffany delite profile imageAUTHOR

      Tiffany Delite 

      6 years ago from Wichita, KS

      thank you for your comment, vespawoolf. this was most definitely a scary storm. i am not as bad as i was when we first moved to kansas, but i am still not overly fond of tornado season! blessings!

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 

      6 years ago from America

      I won't travel to Arkansas during the worst months for tornados though I know they can hit at anytime. We spent one week in Arkansas running for the shelter everyday. We get tornadoes here, not as often. We do have a basement. One thing when in the basement be careful what is above your head. Many people are killed here by fireplace falling in on them or the washer. Don't wait till the last minute and run for the basement a lady in our town was killed because she was running for the basement and fell down the stairs and died from the fall. Voted up on your hub very good information.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      Vespa Woolf 

      6 years ago from Peru, South America

      I remember reading about this storm when it hit. How scary! These are good points to remember when caught in a storm--how good that you're so well-prepared for a storm.

    • tiffany delite profile imageAUTHOR

      Tiffany Delite 

      6 years ago from Wichita, KS

      Thank you, Mary! For the record...I would prefer a tornado over a hurricane any day...lol! although, I would rather not have to deal with either of them! Severe weather can be so scary...stay safe! Blessings...

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      6 years ago from Florida

      I have never seen a tornado, and I don't want to! We have terrible electrical storms during the summer months, and of course we have hurricanes, too! We have had two close calls this hurricane season. Our family keeps a "disaster kit" at all times, so we try to be prepared.

      I voted this Hub UP, etc.

    • tiffany delite profile imageAUTHOR

      Tiffany Delite 

      7 years ago from Wichita, KS

      you are absolutely correct! thank you so much :)

    • profile image

      Liberal 

      7 years ago

      Last 24 hour advance notice was for the mid Tennessee valley area, not for for the GReensburg incident.

    • tiffany delite profile imageAUTHOR

      Tiffany Delite 

      7 years ago from Wichita, KS

      thank you!

    • clintonb profile image

      clintonb 

      7 years ago from Adelaide, Australia

      A very useful hub!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)