SPC Stats

Path length: 3.6 miles

Width:  500 yards

Fatalities:  5

Injuries:  25

Rating:  F4

County:  Muskogee

It was an F4 tornado that quickly passed through parts of Muskogee County and the town of Keefeton, OK on May 26, 1973.  Eight frame homes and four mobile homes were destroyed.  100+ more suffered some sort of major to minor damage.  There were 5 total fatalities.  Four were killed in a pickup truck that was rolled for 1/2 mile.  Approximately 75% of Keefeton was damaged or destroyed.  

Storm Data Entry

A tornado touched down 1/4 miles west-southwest of downtown Keefeton moving east-northeast.  It cut a swatch 1/4 to 1/3 of a mile wide along a 3 mile path.  Eight homes were destroyed, 4 had major damage and 25 minor damage.  Four mobile homes were destroyed and one suffered major damage.  Fifteen farm buildings were destroyed.  The tornado was described as brownish gray in color and as “box-like” and near total destruction occurred along its path.

Tornado Path

Click Map To Enlarge

SPC coordinates:  Start: 35.55 / -95.32   End:  35.58 / -95.27      

Note:  Exact tornado path may not be straight and/or continuous.

Note:  The town of Keefeton was hit directly.  The SPC coordinates are not correct.

Damage Photo from the Oklahoma Historical Society

Photograph used for a story in the Daily Oklahoman newspaper. Caption: "Believed to be all that remains of the Dornan pickup demolished by the Keefeton tornado, an engine block lies in an open field in front of overturned propane gas tanks." Photo Credit: Oklahoma Historical Society

Newspaper Clippings

Discrepancies:

We gathered information for this event from the SPC & NCDC Databases, the May 1973 Storm Data Publication and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:

Path Length:

  • Only a small difference here:  SPC/NCDC has 3.6 mile path while Grazulis/Storm Data have 3 mile path.

      Sources:

      The Storm Prediction Center

      NCDC Storm Events Database

      May 1973 Storm Data Publication

      Carter, J. Pat. [Photograph 2012.201.B1215.0535], photograph, May 26, 1973;(gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc588464/: accessed May 24, 2018), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.

      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 1141.

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