Friday, June 8, 2012
Forty-six years ago, a tornado tore through downtown Topeka, leaving 16 people dead and more than $100 million in damage.
The tornado hit Topeka at 6:55 p.m. on June 8, 1966, and stayed on the ground for 39 minutes. It followed a 22-mile path through the heart of the city.
The damage total today would be around $716 million.
Despite the destruction and deaths, many Topekans believe more people would have been killed if residents had not sought cover.
Bill Kurtis, a newsman at WIBW-TV at the time, is credited with saving lives. His urgent warning "For God's sake, take cover" is part of the city's lore.