Were you in Lawrence four years ago?

On March 12, 2006, a strange weather occurrence hit our fair city- the Great Microburst of 2006. It was like a tornado (and many people today still swear it actually was)- in fact, according that knower-of-all-things Wikipedia, the main difference between the two is that microbursts produce divergent winds, while tornadoes generally have convergent damage. Whatever. It’s still freaky-scary.

It was loud, it was windy, and trees and shingles and signs went flying all over town. According to KU Info, the University of Kansas campus lost 100 trees that day- but fortunately 29,425 trees remain.

We asked some of our Twitter followers what they remembered most about that day. Here’s what they had to say:

“It sounded like a train outside my house. I seriously thought I was in a tornado and going to die.”

“I was a freshman but had left for the weekend. Ended up getting caught in an even worse storm in Missouri: 2 tornadoes met right where I was.”

“Woke me up from a dead sleep. Lost part of my roof. Best part: no one was hurt, went outside, and found my house had the least damage around.”

“My boyfriend lived in Templin. His car window got broken out. I think some sort of heating/AC unit fell off the room of the dorm.”

“My boyfriend at the time was in town for our anniversary. The alarms went off in Ellsworth and we had to sit in the dorm basement.”

“All I could see was gray out the window. It sounded like a train.”

“I was a freshman and my pledge brother was driving a random shacker home and all of his windows instantly shattered as if a sign from God.” (OK, I laughed out loud at the random shacker part!)

“Worst memory: Being woken up by shingles being ripped off. Best memory: Getting a brand new roof.”

“Waking up to an uprooted tree hitting my window- and I lived on the 10th floor of Ellsworth Hall so that was definitely not normal!”

“Classes were cancelled the next day and it was like an all-campus party!”

“Lots of broken car windows and Weavers’ awning sitting in front of Liberty Hall.”

“Lived on the 4th floor above Pepperjax; looking down at New Hampshire street and seeing trees bent over to the ground.” 

“Living in Corbin and I had to drive around for hours to charge my phone. Fast food lines were so long. No hot water for a week.”

“Seeing the clouds circling the McDonald’s on 6th Street when I lived a block from there.”

“Seeing part of a street sign off 6th from a place closer to Iowa than Mass lying in front of City Hall.”

“Waking up to violently shaking windows and our chimney being ripped off. Best part was joking about the apocalypse with my mom.”

“We lost two giant windows in our living room- they’re still not quite fixed!”

Lots of memories from this storm!

The Sandbar was fortunate to not have much damage. It seems like the downtown businesses on the east-west streets fared better than those on the north-south streets.

We were in the middle of construction on our annual St. Patrick’s Day float, and it lived in the vacant lot next to Dave’s house. Amazingly, the float had absolutely no damage- not even from the wind!

But about thirty feet away, a huge old tree right next to the house was completely uprooted and fell alongside the house. It took out a few shingles on the way down, but nothing major. If it had fallen at any more of a northern angle, it would have smashed into our bedroom (and probably taken me out!). We did get a new roof out of the deal.

Here’s a video that one of our Twitter friends sent to us:

What do you remember most about that day?