SPC Stats

Path length: 0.5 miles

Width:  30 yards

Fatalities:  0

Injuries:  2

Rating:  F3

County:  Harrison

The SPC Database lists 3 tornadoes on October 22, 1972.  We look at one of those in this summary.  It was given a rating of F3.  Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes believes the damage was more in the F2 range.  That was just one discrepancy with this event.  

This tornado occurred during a Sunday morning but there are differences on what time it exactly hit.  The SPC lists a time of 8:00 CST while NCDC lists 9:00 CDT.  Storm Data just says “morning”.  Grazulis lists 0300 Local Standard Time.  An article in The Marshall News Messenger on October 23, 1972 says the tornado “first touched down” at 6:20am.  

In this same newspaper, they state the tornado had a path of about 10 miles. Officially though, the path is listed at only 1/2 mile.

There was tremendous damage to the Harold Ratcliff home.  Two of their daughters had minor injuries and were sent to the hospital.  Per an article in the Marshall News Messenger, Mrs. Ratcliff was quoted as saying “the whole house trembled then just exploded.”  The article stated that many of the dishes and glasses in the house were left intact even though there rubble along the bare foundation.  A boat sitting in the yard next to this home was tossed more than 200 yards by the twister.  A tractor-trailer on I-20 was overturned.  It was carrying about $40,000 worth of beef.  

Tornado Path

SPC coordinates (only one point since path was short):  Start: 32.48 / -94.28     

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 October 1972 Storm Data Publication and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:

Rating:

  • Grazulis has a rating of F2.
  • SPC/NCDC list the rating as F3.

      Sources:

      The Storm Prediction Center

      NCDC Storm Events Database

      October 1972 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 1133.

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