Weather’s made its mark on Topeka

There’s a saying in Kansas: “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.” Most of the time, weather is part of the day that can be handled with minimal planning. But Topeka’s had its share of significant weather events as well.

The tornado of June 8, 1966

WU Archives Tornado Arial

The tornado of June 8, 1966 can be vividly recalled today by many Topekans. The register F5 tornado tore a hole in the Capitol dome, decimated the Washburn University campus and killed eight Topekans. The tornado was on the ground for 34 minutes and damaged an area more than 20 miles long and half-mile wide. The tornado remains one of the nation’s most costly.

Read more from the Kansas State Historical Society.

The flood of July 1951

The Kansas River valley sustained significant flood damage in July 1951 after more than 18 inches of rain feel in parts of the basin. In all, more than 7,000 buildings were damaged in Topeka alone. Throughout the basin, more than 116 communities sustained damage and more than 85,000 people were evacuated from their homes.

Read more from the Kansas State Historical Society