National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


June 8 1974 is the day a devastating tornado hit Emporia and surrounding areas. The 1974 tornado ripped through populated sections on the northwest side of Emporia killing 6 people and injuring 200.

The tornado was rated an F4 on the Fujita Tornado Intensity scale due to massive damage and destruction at an Emporia shopping center, mobile home park, nursing home, apartment complex and residential homes. Most of the deaths were in the mobile home park, while property damage in Lyon county was estimated at $25 million. Ten farmsteads were also damage in rural areas along the tornado path.

The tornado hit around 6PM, was up to a half mile wide and tracked nearly 38 miles across Lyon, Osage and Shawnee counties before finally dissipating southwest of Auburn.

The June 8, 1974, Emporia tornado occurred on the same date as the infamous 1966 Topeka tornado, and is often overshadowed by the incredible damage of the Topeka tornado.

The Emporia Gazette put together a story on the tornado that can be found at

Below are some photos taken of the destruction: