Remembering the Haysville tornado.


Just 20 years ago on Friday a tornado hit Haysville and south Wichita destroying homes, businesses, and taking people's lives.

Several residents were in the path of this tornado according to former mayor of Haysville, Tim Norton. One of them being Carl Masters and his mother.

"Yeah when the tornado came in and hit, I mean it was always late at night, it tore this place completely up," Masters said in regards to his home.

He said he wasn't at home when the tornado hit but rather down the street. According to him, his mother was and she was in the garage in her car. After the tornado hit their house, Masters said it took them about an hour to get her out of the rubble.

"It was really surprising because everything was laying in the garage, on top of the truck and all that," he said. "But the rest of the house was destroyed so she was really lucky."

His home wasn't the only one on his street that was hit at 87th and Exposition Streets. According to Masters, the entire road was destroyed and some of his neighbors ended up dying.

"The people down the street here, they were killed in the tornado," he said. "My other neighbors over here were really lucky, I mean it took them up in the tornado and dropped them underneath their house."

He said it took about three to four months to rebuild their home that he has now lived in for about 40 years. The tornado's path moved north toward Haysville and south Wichita, where it hit more homes and businesses including what is now known as Haysville's historic district. Former Haysville Mayor, Tim Norton was there to witness all of the destruction.

"There was homes back in there, businesses back in there, two churches that were back in there and they were totally gone, I mean totally wiped out," Norton said.

Baughman Avenue has homes and businesses down it as well on both sides., and Norton said they were all gone.

"Just totally wiped out, it was just one big debris field," he said.

Today there are new structures in place where some residential houses were, such as the hometown market in the historic district and the Haysville community library. Some houses were rebuilt, and Friday, 20 years later, Norton said we remember those who suffered loss, the recovery, and preparation for the future.

"We think about that a lot this time of year and on days like this 20 years later, the reflection is that, be positive about it, you can recover, but be prepared," he said.