Path length: 10.4 miles
Width: 1760 yards
Nine tornadoes occurred on March 31, 1959. 6 were in Oklahoma, 2 in Texas, and 1 in Arkansas. One of the strongest, and the deadliest, was given a rating of F4. It moved 10.4 miles through parts of Hill County, TX. There were 6 fatalities. There may have been a seventh death. I did find newspaper articles that state a woman died from her injuries from this tornado, making that the 7th person killed. I have attached one of those articles in the newspaper section below.
Summary information from Storm Data and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes:
This tornado moved from the SE edge of Vaughan to about 8 miles north of Bynum. Per Storm Data, “Vaughan was almost completely destroyed.” 100+ buildings were damaged or destroyed. Per Grazulis, “five deaths were in four homes that were leveled to the ground.” Several homes and a tourist court were badly damaged at Lake Whitney. As the tornado moved across the Waco-Hillsboro Highway 5, five miles south of Hillsboro, a car was picked up and thrown 100 yards. The occupant was killed, and 2 others were injured.
We gathered information for this event from the SPC & NCDC Databases, the March 1959 Storm Data Publication and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:
- SPC/NCDC have the length at 10.4 miles.
- Storm Data has a 20 mile path.
- Grazulis lists the path at 15 miles.
- SPC/NCDC have a width of 1760 yards.
- Storm Data lists a width of 1320 yards.
- Grazulis has a 1000 yard width.
- All sources list 6 fatalities from this tornado.
- I did find newspaper articles that state a woman died from her injuries from this tornado making that the 7th person killed. I have attached one of those articles below.
The city of Bynum is mentioned as having damage per Storm Data and newspaper articles. Grazulis mentions that path moved to about 8 miles north of Bynum. The official plot though has the path west of Bynum. The ending point may be incorrect.
March 1959 Storm Data Publication
Grazulis, Thomas P. (1993). Significant Tornadoes 1680-1991: A Chronology and Analysis of Events. St. Johnsbury, VT: The Tornado Project of Environmental Films. Page 1019.
Note: There are some images/videos in our summaries that were licensed to us to be used only on this website. If you would like to use an image/video in your project or blog, please contact us and we will grant permission if possible.
Newspaper clips are embedded via newspapers.com. Please see their terms and conditions.
Would you like to see more summaries like this one? Support Tornado Talk on Patreon! Become a Patron!