The May 10 storm had been forecasted a full week ahead. The forecast for severe weather remained fairly constant for Central Kansas and moved into northern Oklahoma. A few days before the storm, the National Weather Service had Sedgwick County under a very significant hazard assessment. I’ve heard that when the threat assessment gets to the highest level, Emergency Management is activated for an impending disaster. That Monday was the first time in my memory that a day of Riverfest had ever been cancelled.
I was seven years old at a Melvern Lake campground under the dam. Storms had hit earlier in the evening and seemed to intensify overhead. We sat in our fifth wheel camper and listened to hail plink off the roof. The weatherman looked nervous on TV, so we headed to the shelter. At the campground, it was a brown brick structure that housed the showers, washer and dryers, and was the storm shelter if all hell broke loose.
The shelter was full but we squeezed in. …