Thirty-five years ago this month, a deadly tornado ripped across part of southeast Topeka.

Tim Hrenchir, the "History Guy" for CJOnline, returns Thursday with a short video about the killer twister, which struck during the early evening on May 6, 1983.

Chester Meers, 59, was killed in a mobile home court at 4100 S.E. Adams when his mobile home flipped and collapsed around him. He was found in the kitchen.

 

The tornado also injured 25 people, destroyed 70 houses and 55 mobile homes and did an estimated $7.68 million worth of damage. That would amount to about $18.9 million today.

The EF-3 tornado, moving northeast, touched down briefly near Auburn in southwest Shawnee County, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a tornado warning. 

The twister then hit a mobile home court near S.W. 45th and Topeka Boulevard before ravaging Ridgewood Estates, the mobile home court where Meers lived. Residents said many lives were saved by tornado shelters in that area.

Meers, an employee of Alexander Brothers Bakery, remains Shawnee County's most recent tornado fatality.

The twister — described in The Topeka Capital-Journal as "a dangling rope," "a snake" and "just a little finger pointing out of the sky" — then struck houses about two blocks east of S.E. California Avenue in the 3600 block of S.E. Powell.

It subsequently lifted before coming back down and moving through Tecumseh.