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Before storm sirens, before the Weather Channel, before Doppler Radar, a tornado "dropped out of a troubled May sky and twisted its way into our lives forever." On the evening of May 20,1957 three communities south of Kansas City, Missouri were destroyed by a seventy-one mile, F-5 twister. This monstrous storm left in its path five hundred injured, forty-four dead and over a million dollars worth of property damage.
Nothing defines a community more than its reaction to disaster. Caught In The Path is a story of fear and courage, suffering and resiliency. The hardest hit area, four year old Ruskin Heights, was the first post-war tract housing development in the Kansas City area. Like so many of their generation, its residents, mostly first time home buyers in their twenties and thirties, came to Ruskin to raise their baby-boom families with the optimism of the fifties. When the tornado scattered their dreams along its path, they came back, and changed a housing development into a community.
Author Carolyn Glenn Brewer's family was among those caught off guard by the tornado. Most of the houses on her block were leveled to the foundation. She combines her story with extensive interviews from nearly one hundred survivors and period media coverage. The narrative flow of this book reads like fiction, but makes the tornado, and the summer that followed, pulse with reality.
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