On May 3rd. 1999, a Tornado hit the city of Haysville, Kansas. This year was the tornado’s 23rd anniversary. Kansas being located in the center of tornado alley has given the state a reputation for dangerous weather events in the summer. Wichita and Haysville are also firmly in the center of tornado alley, which has led to some crazy weather phenomenon.
The 1999 Tornado: The Tornado that hit Haysville in 1999 was an F-4 tornado. F-4 or EF-4 tornadoes are classified as violent and have wind speeds ranging from 166 to 200+ miles per hour. Violent tornadoes such as those are considered to be extremely rare and make up a whopping 2% of all tornadoes. This very abnormal weather catastrophe wreaked havoc on the city Haysville. 6 individuals died in the nearly hour long weather disaster. In the process 150 homes and 27 business were damaged. Approximately 17 miles long, and at the height of the storm the wind was reaching speeds of 207 – 260 mph.
National Weather Service Tornado Reports (5-4-1999):
5/3/99 1218 PM Hazardous Weather Outlook issued stressing the threat of hail, wind and tornadoes.
5/3/99 721 PM Tornado Watch #200 was issued for 35 Kansas Counties including South Central Kansas.
5/3/99 738 PM Tornado Warning issued for Northern Sumner County.
5/3/99 744 PM Trained spotter reports a tornado near Mayfield in Sumner County.
5/3/99 749 PM Severe Thunderstorm Warning was issued for Sedgwick County, specifically mentioning the threat of tornadoes as a possibility.
5/3/99 758 PM Trained spotter reports a tornado 2 NW of Wellington.
5/3/99 816 PM Tornado Warning was issued for Southeast Sedgwick and re-issued Northern Sumner County.
5/3/99 830 PM Trained spotters report a tornado near Peck along the Sedgwick/Sumner County line.
5/3/99 843 PM National Weather Service radar shows the tornado entering the southern part of Wichita.
5/3/99 848 PM First reports of significant damage are received around Seneca and MacArthur.
5/3/99 920 PM Tornado Warning expires.
In the past 20 years Haysville has grown back, and some would even say they’re better than ever. In 1999 the population of Haysville was hovering around 8500+ residents compared to 20 years later, Haysville in 2019 had around 11,338+ residents and is now at a nice 4.66 miles squared in size. Wichita also rebuilt around where the damage was being dealt. Hopefully this type of disaster will spare both the cities of Wichita and Haysville this summer.