History museum opens exhibit on severe weather





Coming off a year in which Kansas endured destructive ice storms, killer tornadoes and severe flooding, the state history museum has opened an exhibit on extreme weather.

Organizers say the timing is a coincidence, because they have been working on the exhibit for more than a year. But they also say it's a reminder of why Kansans routinely look to the sky and what outsiders remember most about the state.

The exhibit, "Forces of Nature," opened Friday at the Kansas Museum of History in west Topeka and will run through Jan. 4, 2009.

"Weather is a huge part of our identity," said Rebecca Martin, project manager for the exhibit. "People around the world will forever associate us with a really famous tornado in 'The Wizard of Oz.'"

The Kansas State Historical Society also is hoping to collect Kansans' recollections of memorable storms. The exhibit includes a small booth with a microphone and computer, so that visitors can tell and record their stories.

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