Fears of a Tornado in Kansas City

The state of Kansas. Commonly associated as the home of Dorothy before she gets swept over the rainbow into the Land of Oz.

Except, Kansas City is not actually in the state of Kansas (well this is only half true). Kansas City is actually in Missouri but on the border of Kansas. When you cross the state border, you are in Kansas City, Kansas (they even say it like that). But the Kansas City that we all associate with the Superbowl 2020 champions, Kansas City Chiefs, is actually the Kansas City in Missouri.

As Kansas City sits on the border of Missouri and Kansas, we made sure to stop off here to tick two more states off. Though I don’t feel like I really got to discover these states sufficiently. I’d love to go to visit St. Louis in Missouri or actually walk along in Sedan’s Yellow Brick Road in Kansas.

Despite not actually spending much time in Kansas state, I definitely got the feeling of fear that Dorothy might have felt. We flew into a very stormy Kansas City very late at night. Being from England, our weather is very mild, we moan if its hotter than 23 degrees c (73.4F), but we grab our coats and put the heating on if its less than 14 degrees c (57.2 F). It rarely snows, and when it does its never a lot, yet the whole country goes into a panic, and everything closes. And the closest thing we’ve seen to a storm is a thunderstorm. So, when we were walking through the airport and saw signs for Tornado Shelters, you can imagine how excited and concerned I was.

The airport was deserted, and you had to use an airport phone to call a cab. Unfortunately for us, the phones were broken, so we had to get an Uber for $57.16 to our hotel Comfort Inn & Suites in downtown Kansas City.

Other than ticking off two more states, the main thing we wanted to do in Kansas City was to see their central library. This is because it is designed to look like a community bookshelf as part of the architecture. Much to our disappointment, the wall is actually part of the parking lot and not the main library entrance. It was also partially hidden by all the trees growing on the sidewalk.

However, it was still fascinating to see the 9-foot-tall book spines, mostly since it features one of my favourite books, To Kill a Mockingbird. It runs for approximately 25 feet along the south wall of the Central Library’s parking garage on 10th Street between Wyandotte Street and Baltimore Avenue.

Because we wanted to also say that we visited the state of Kansas, we spent the second half of our day there instead of exploring more of the Missouri side. It seemed the only thing we could do that was close to the border was a mall, so off we went.

When we were at the mall, we heard store assistants talking about the recent tornado warning. The woman in Tommy Hilfiger was very excited and was telling everyone in the store about how she was a tornado chaser. Although she might have been excited, we were quite alarmed that we might get stuck in Kansas City. Perhaps we would have been swept away with our dearest Dorothy, and this time it would be us saying ‘Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore’.

However, we weren’t alarmed enough to rush off that day. Instead, we ate some chocolate covered marshmallows and unsuccessfully looked around in hopes of finding a Kansas-themed shot glass. We later headed back to the hotel for $23.16 and jumped on the next plane the following morning.

The city is known for its jazz heritage and barbecue food. So, if we had more time in Kansas City, I would have wanted to go to the American Jazz Museum and eaten a lot more!

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