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And Hell Followed With It: Life and Death in a Kansas Tornado

– tekijä: Bonar Menninger

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Detailed account of the June 1966 tornado in Topeka, where property damage of $100 million made it the most destructive in U.S. history up to that time.

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näyttää 3/3
This is a non-fiction account of the EF5 tornado which struck Topeka, Kansas in June of 1966. It begins with author's notes (1) to explain source material and how he used it and (2) to warn readers that those who survived the tornado by huddling under bridges were very, very lucky -- that it is NOT recommended. That said, he gets to the story, and what a story it is.

He follows the experiences of a great number of people who were in the tornado. The accounts are more or less divided up into different areas that the tornado hit as it entered and moved through the city. Each section has a map, and at the beginning there is a larger map to place the area maps into the larger context. I found these maps extremely helpful in following what happened, as the area maps are marked with the locations of different people that we are reading about.

There is a chapter involving Toledo history and a legend which people associate with the tornado. There is also a chapter about the formation of tornadoes, this tornado in particular, and the history of tornado forecasting. I found this fascinating; people less interested in weather might differ on that opinion. We also read of the aftermath of the storm, and how it furthered the progress of tornado safety.

But it was the accounts of the people in the storm that I found absolutely riveting. I've read a lot of weather-related books, and a number of them on tornadoes, but I've never gotten such a clear sense of what it's like to experience a major tornado. The stories were spellbinding, and some of the details were absolutely incredible.

I could hardly put this book down. I read until 2 a.m. the night I started it, and the next day (my day off) I did very little but read, except for those tasks I absolutely had to accomplish (medical appointment, cooking meals, etc.) I thought this was a fabulous book, and I've given it 5 stars. ( )
  tymfos | Jun 15, 2016 |
This is the story of the June, 1966 tornado that ripped through Topeka, Kansas, from one end of town to the other (it was on the ground for 22 miles for 40 minutes). The tornado obliterated Washburn University. Though the Fujita scale hadn't been invented yet, it would later be called an F5 tornado.

Thanks to strong tornado preparedness and newscasters who got the word out, among other factors, only 16 lives were lost.

Initially, I was a bit put off by the author's use of a neighborhood by neighborhood approach to telling the story of this tornado as there seemed to be quite a bit of repeated information, but I quickly got used to it. The author excelled at mentioning something interesting about each person and his or her experiences during the tornado.

For instance, he talks about children and their families where the kids were about to start a music recital when the tornado hit. The group relocated to the basement but the piano in the southwest corner of the basement was out of tune so they relocated to another area of the basement (very fortunately, I might add). He wrote so vividly about the victims that, even though I met them only briefly, I really started to care about them and was glad that he followed up.

Many lessons were learned from this tornado, including the fact that the southwest corner of the basement is NOT the safest place to be.

If you like to read about disasters, this is the book for you. Excellent!! ( )
1 ääni lindapanzo | Jan 16, 2012 |
This is a captivating true account of a tornado which tore through Topeka, Kansas on June 8, 1966. Bonar Menninger can really write and obviously knew his subject inside and out before he started writing. Despite the number of people whose experiences Menninger recounts, he always makes it clear who is who and I found it quite easy to follow. I also found it utterly engrossing. The book also includes a large selection of outstanding photographs taken at the time. For anyone who is interested in tornados, I whole-heartedly recommend this book. ( )
  fireblossom32 | Jan 25, 2011 |
näyttää 3/3
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Detailed account of the June 1966 tornado in Topeka, where property damage of $100 million made it the most destructive in U.S. history up to that time.

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