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How many people did the Haysville/Wichita/Andover tornado kill?

A caller left a message for me insisting the Andover tornado occurred in 1990, and that it killed 19 – two more than my recent stories have said.

It’s easy to understand why he is confused. The Hesston and Goessel F5 tornadoes occurred in 1990, and after many years the memory can blur.

But the tornado that struck Haysville, southeast Wichita, McConnell Air Force Base and Andover occurred in 1991. I don’t need an Internet search engine to remind me. I was among the reporters climbing through rubble, interviewing victims and calling in details using whatever working phone I could find.

That tornado killed 17 people in Andover and southeast Wichita. Two more people were killed by other tornadoes that touched down in the outbreak: one northeast of Winfield in Cowley County and another near Howard in Elk County. That raises the outbreak’s death toll in Kansas to 19 – which is likely how the caller confused the numbers.

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