‘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.
“It looked like we were driving into a dump site, or a burned out slum, or what I would imagine a bombed out city would have looked like after World War II.” – These are the words of Steve Ulmen. He was 22 and a senior member of the Mankato Civil Air Patrol squadron when an F5 hit Tracy, MN on June 13, 1968.