A Look Back - Chapman, Manhattan, Soldier Tornado

By: Andrew Switzer
By: Andrew Switzer

It has been nearly a year since a series of strong tornadoes ripped through Central and NE Kansas, destroying homes, businesses, schools, churches, and even taking two lives.  June 11th, 2008 is a date that will never be forgotten by residents of three Kansas towns - Chapman, Manhattan, and Soldier.  That evening a super cell thunderstorm first produced a tornado South of Salina, then moved NE producing an EF 3 tornado that destroyed much of Chapman and took one life.  The storm then moved on to Manhattan where it developed a stronger Tornado, rated and EF 4,  and tore through Manhattan causing millions of dollars in damage but miraculously no lives were lost in Manhattan.  The storm continued to the NE and dropped an EF 2 tornado near the Soldier.  A man was inside his mobile home when it took a direct hit and he was killed.

WIBW Meteorologists were on the air with "wall-to-wall" coverage for nearly 4 hours that evening tracking the every move of these tornadoes.

Now, nearly a year later, we are going to take a look back on the storm and show how these communities have rallied and come back bigger and better than ever.  On Wednesday, May 20th, we will be live in Manhattan from Noon-7PM at Gymnastics Plus located at 2730 Amherst Ave on the SW side of Manhattan.  We will have tons to do and see including a rock climbing wall from the ARMY, Willie the Wildcat will be in attendance, a Moonwalk for the kids to play on, we will be programming weather radios, and much more.  We invite you to come out on Wednesday afternoon and be a part of the community that has recovered from a devastating storm.  Tell us your story about that evening.  It will be a celebration of community and something you will not want to miss.

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