SPC Stats

Path length: 24.2 miles

Width:  500 yards

Fatalities:  5

Injuries:  36

Rating:  F3

County:  McClain, Cleveland, Oklahoma

A devastating F3 tornado tore through parts of McClain, Cleveland and Oklahoma counties in Oklahoma during the evening of November 19, 1973. The twister developed about a mile SSW of Blanchard and moved through the western portions of town.  31 homes, 2 businesses, and 2 church were destroyed.  Spotty light damage was found NE of Blanchard.  The tornado then moved toward Moore hitting the Royal Park Trailer Park on the south side of town.  37 mobile homes were destroyed here.  On some trailers, only the frame of the floor and the wheels remained.  

Tragically, five were killed including three infants.  In Moore, two 4-month-old girls died when the tornado hit the trailer park.  Their names were Robbie Maynard and Jennifer Moore.  At Blanchard, Linda Hill and her 3-month-old son Neal died when the tornado hit their mobile home.  Mr. Ray Saunders, a security guard was killed when a concrete block wall collapsed at the warehouse where he worked.  

As I searched the newspapers for details on this event, the following tragic photo appeared several times.  A distraught Oklahoma highway patrolman carrying the body of Robbie Maynard.  She was lying in a mud puddle beside a street in Moore.  Heartbreaking.

Storm Data Entry

A tornado, moving north-northeastward about 40mph touched down a mile or so south-southwest of Blanchard about 730pm and over through western portions of Blanchard with top wind speeds at 150-175 mph.  Thirty-one homes, 2 businesses and 2 churches were destroyed and 44 homes and 2 businesses had major damage.  Two occupants of a mobile home were killed and 18 others injured.  Total damages to insured property were $1.8 million. Heavy rain accompanied the tornado and apparently obscured any nose made by the storm.

The tornado caused spotty damage northeast of Blanchard, mostly light, and then moved through Moore where it struck a trailer park in southern Moore and many homes and businesses in the norther sections.  Two persons, children, were killed in the mobile home park where 37 mobile homes were destroyed and 30 damaged.  On some trailers only, the frame of the floor and the wheels remained.  Of the 28 injuries in Moore, most occurred in the trailer park. Total damages in Moore were give as $2.5 million. 

Substantial damage to a warehouse occurred about 8pm at SE 89thStreet where a watchman was killed by a concrete block wall collapsing.  Minor roof damage occurred in southeast Oklahoma City and Del City northward to about 20thstreet southeast.  Minor damage 1 ¾ miles west and 1 mile north of Alex (17 miles south-southwest of Blanchard) in Grady County may have been associated with this tornado also. 

Tornado Path

SPC coordinates:  Start: 35.13  / -97.65     End:  35.43  / -97.45

Plotted coordinates provided by NCDC for the county segments.

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

Newspaper Clippings

Discrepancies:

We gathered information for this event from the SPC & NCDC Databases, the November 1973 Storm Data Publication and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:

Path Length:

  • SPC/NCDC have a 24.2 mile path length.
  • Grazulis and Storm Data have a length at 24 miles.

Injury Count:

  • SPC lists 36 injuries.
  • NCDC and Storm Data have 46 injuries.
  • Grazulis has 53 injuries.

      Sources:

      The Storm Prediction Center

      NCDC Storm Events Database

      November 1973 Storm Data Publication

      newspapers.com

      Grazulis, Thomas P. (1993). Significant Tornadoes 1680-1991: A Chronology and Analysis of Events. St. Johnsbury, VT: The Tornado Project of Environmental Films. Page 1145.

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