While the seniors danced at the 2001 prom in Hoisington, Kan., a town of about 3,000, a tornado hit the town and destroyed about a third of it. When the students emerged from the dance, they discovered what had happened, and in the weeks that followed, they tried to make sense of why the tornado hit where it did.

In this episode, This American Life tells that story, and more, from prom night.

This is a rerun of an episode that first aired in June 2001.

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Our new audio app is home to “This American Life,” the award-winning program hosted by Ira Glass. New episodes debut in our app a day earlier than in the regular podcast feed, and we also have an archive of the show. The app includes a “Best of ‘This American Life’” section with some of our favorite bite-size clips, so you can enjoy the show even if you don’t have a lot of time.