Truth Test | Are big cities less likely to get hit by tornadoes?

WICHITA, Kansas – You may have heard that big cities do not get hit by tornadoes, and we’re here to examine whether there’s any truth to this notion.

Tornadoes have no boundaries and can develop anywhere, in fact no one area in the country is safer than the other from being hit by a tornado.

RELATED LINKS| National Weather Service tornado safety | What to do during a tornado | Tornado safety infographic

Take a map of Kansas for example, a good chunk of the state is rural and mostly open country. Much of tornado alley is rural, so it’s much more probable that a rural will be hit.

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But a simple check of the history books will prove the myth false.

For example, take Atlanta. In 2008, an EF-2 tornado caused more than $25 million worth of damage to the city. There was one fatality and 30 non-life threatening injuries.

Downtown Nashville was hit in 2006 with seven fatalities directly from the tornado, and a woman suffered a heart attack due to stress by the tornado.

Salt Lake City had an F-2 tornado took the life of one man and nearly 100 people were injured.

One of our state’s F-5 tornadoes hit Topeka in 1966, killing 16 and injuring more than 500, even damaging part of the statehouse.

It cost $100 million dollars in damage, in 1966 dollars, making it still one of the costliest tornadoes in American history.

So the idea that big cities do not get hit by tornadoes?

This is a myth.

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