At least three significant tornadoes occurred on August 21, 1883. By far the most damaging of the trio and the topic of this summary was a horrific F5 that tore through the Minnesota town of Rochester. Yet from the aftermath of this devastating tragedy, something wonderful would be created – the Mayo Clinic.
It is known as the “Candlestick Park” tornado, named after a shopping center in south Jackson, MS which was completely destroyed. Per the SPC, the path length was 202.5 miles. It moved through portions of MS and then into AL. The max width was 900 yards. There were 518 injuries and 58 fatalities reported. 57 deaths in MS and 1 in AL.
‘They had always said Vicksburg would never have a tornado because of the river’ – Marie Renaud, survivor of the 1953 Vicksburg Tornado. Marie was interviewed by the NWS Jackson for the 60th anniversary of the tornado. She was 11 years old when the tornado hit. She, like many Vicksburg, MS residents believed that the river would protect them from a tornado. Unfortunately, on December 5, 1953, a destructive twister crossed over the Mighty Mississippi and directly hit the town of Vicksburg.
It is the only F5/EF5 on record during the month of October: The October 14, 1966 Belmond, IA Tornado. Just minutes after the high school’s homecoming parade, this devastating twister demolished a large section of town. The total path was approximately 12 miles.
It was the deadliest and most damaging tornado of 1990. An unusual, late August F5 tornado crossed just over 16 miles in less than 30 minutes across parts of Kendall and Will Counties in Illinois. It caused an estimated $165 million in damages. A total of 470 homes were destroyed and another 1000 were damaged. 29 people were killed and 350 more were injured.