SPC Stats

Path length: 15.3 miles

Width:  400 yards

Fatalities:  2

Injuries:  50

Rating:  F4

County:  Polk

An estimated F4 tornado made its way from Ankeny, IA (northern Des Moines suburb) and moved southeast ending near Runnels.  It was a devastating event for the town of Ankeny.  Two people were killed in their home and there were at least 50 injuries.  Approx. 100 homes, a church, a drive-in restaurant and a shopping center was destroyed. The path length was recorded in the SPC database as 15.3 miles, the Storm Data Narrative listed a 25 mile path.  

Tornado Path

Click Map To Enlarge

SPC coordinates:  Start: 41.73 / -93.62   End:  41.52 / -93.53    

Here is the path based on the SPC Coordinates. The ending coordinates are incorrect. The tornado ended east near Runnells.  I have a corrected map with the lat/lon ending near Runnells.  See below. 

Note:  Exact tornado path may not be straight and/or continuous.


Newspaper Clippings


We gathered information for this event from the SPC & NCDC Databases, the June 1974 Storm Data Publication and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:

Path Length:

  • SPC/NCDC have a 15.3 mile path length.
  • Storm Data has the length at 25 miles.
  • Grazulis has a 19 mile length.


      The Storm Prediction Center

      NCDC Storm Events Database

      June 1974 Storm Data Publication


      Grazulis, Thomas P. (1993). Significant Tornadoes 1680-1991: A Chronology and Analysis of Events. St. Johnsbury, VT: The Tornado Project of Environmental Films. Page 1166.

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