Friday marks anniversary of 2012 Wichita tornado

Posted: Updated:
Credit: Bryce Kintigh/ Credit: Bryce Kintigh/
Credit: Salvation Army Credit: Salvation Army

It's been five years since a tornado ripped through parts of southeast Wichita, destroying or damaging hundreds of homes and businesses. 

The tornado formed over southern parts of Haysville the evening of April 14, 2012. The National Weather Service reports it produced up to EF-3 damage as it continued northeast.

The tornado was a half-mile wide as it moved across Oaklawn, where some of the heaviest damage was inflicted to the Pinair Mobile Home Park, according to KAKE archives. Assessment teams rated the tornado an EF-3 as it passed through Oaklawn.

"Sounded like it was a real loud noise and we got everybody in the closet," said Lucio Lopez, then-Oaklawn resident. "The wind started picking up with a whistling sound. All I know is we were in the closet and I was trying to hold the door shut and it kept on, like trying to open."

The twister grew to a mile wide as it crossed K-15 and into the Boeing and Spirit area. Damage there is rated at EF-2.

The storm caused EF-1-rated damage at Pawnee and Rock Road. It then decreased to EF-0 in intensity as it caused damage near Kellogg and Greenwich Road. It also caused significant damage at the Kansas Aviation Museum

The tornado continued to weaken as it moved into Butler County. There were no fatalities.

Damage assessments conducted for Sedgwick County properties were as follows:

  • 11 residences were destroyed;
  • 66 residences and 11 businesses suffered major damage
  • 690 residences and 60 businesses suffered minor damage
  • 3,481 residences and 165 businesses were affected
  • More than $280 million in damage

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have a photo to share with us? Email it to