Path length: 51.5 miles

Width:  10 yards

Fatalities:  0

Injuries:  1

Rating:  F1

County:  McLean, Ford, Iroquois

Tornado Path

Click Map To Enlarge

SPC coordinates:  Start: 40.45 / -88.63   End:  40.53 / -87.65         

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


One of three tornadoes to move through parts of Illinois on March 4, 1961.  It was given a rating of F1. The tornado began its 51.5-mile track near Arrowsmith.  A house was knocked 20 feet off its foundation.  A woman was injured. Six other farmsteads were damaged.  There was heavy damage to several farms at Saybrook.  A 20 block section of Gibson City was hit.  A lumberyard was destroyed. Numerous farms were hit in Cissna Park and to the north of Hoopeston.

Newspaper Clippings


We gathered information for this event from the SPC & NCDC Databases and the March 1961 Storm Data Narrative and found the following differences:


  • SPC lists McLean, Ford and Iroquois Counties in the path.  When you plot the official coordinates, all 3 counties are included in the track.
  • NCDC does not have an entry for Iroquois County.
  • The Storm Data Summary does not list any counties.

    Questions or comments about this summary?  Contact us here!

    Note:  There are some images/videos in our summaries that were licensed to us to be used only on this website. If you would like to use an image/video in your project or blog, please contact us and we will grant permission if possible.

    Newspaper clips are embedded via Please see their terms and conditions.


    Would you like to see more summaries like this one?  Support Tornado Talk on Patreon! Become a Patron!


    Leave a Reply

    Avatar placeholder
    You cannot copy content of this page