Path length: 3.3 miles
Width: 880 yards
The Storm Prediction Center shows 29 tornadoes for June 30, 1977. Twelve were in the state of Ohio. The strongest was actually an F3 in LaSalle County, IL. We will tackle that event in a future summary.
This was an interesting event to explore. There is a rating difference. SPC lists a rating of F1 while Grazulis has a rating of F2. I found a newspaper report from The News-Messenger (Fremont, Ohio) with a headline that reads, “It wasn’t a tornado, but it hurt.” So, not only a rating difference but a question at one point on whether this was a tornado at all?
Merle Kackenmeister, a meteorologist with the Toledo Weather Bureau was interviewed. He states, “There was no visual sign that a funnel cloud dropped in Fremont. We are classifying this as a funnel cloud aloft at a low level.” The article states that the survey team “could see no evidence of the counter-clockwise wind necessary for the tornado.”
In the June 1977 Storm Data Narrative, this was officially entered as a 1/2 mile wide tornado with a 3.5 mile path. So, at some point, it was determined that we did have tornado damage here not just straight line wind damage. In my searches, I could not find what caused the change of mind.
Regardless, the town of Fremont had a tremendous amount of damage and 18 people were injured. Many homes and businesses lost roofs and I found images in newspapers of those roofs on top of cars (see the newspaper section at the bottom of the summary). A nursing home also lost its roof and had to be evacuated.
We gathered information for this event from the SPC & NCDC Databases, the June 1977 Storm Data Publication and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:
- SPC/NCDC have a 3.3 mile path length.
- Grazulis and Storm Data have a length at 3.5 miles.
- Grazulis has a width of 800 yards.
- Remaining sources list the width at 880 yards.
- Grazulis has a rating of F2.
- SPC/NCDC have a rating of F1.