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Teen remembering Haysville, South Wichita tornado


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WICHITA, Kan. -- Zach Farley was only three when he says the terror of a tornado passed over his grandmother's south Wichita house as he and the family sheltered in the basement.

Farley says, "I was scared, terrified, I remember."

At the time, a KAKE news crew followed the three year old around as he walked around south Spruce and east Osie streets observing the damage and repairs being made.

It was 15 years ago Saturday when the F-4 tornado hit Haysville and south Wichita killing six people and injured 150 others.

At the time three year old Zach couldn't get enough of watching linemen working up on utility poles and others cleaning up debris and making repairs.

Fifteen years later he's 18 and still amazed at the experience.

"From what I remember telephone poles were cracked, windows were blown out, roofs were gone, trees were knocked over in the street."

And what neighborhood scars were caused then are unrecognizable now.

"Not that you can see anymore. Today, definitely not. It looks just like it's been here forever."

Farley says the one lesson that he learned then that he applies now is he and the family were safe sheltering in the basement. It's something he keeps in mind anytime he hears a local tornado warning now.

"When tornadoes coming just go in the basement and everything should be fine."


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