Path length: 47.4 miles
Width: 50 yards
County: Mason, Tazewell, McLean
This tornado (later rated F2) skipped its way approximately 50 miles through parts of Mason, Tazewell and McLean Counties in Illinois.
The Climatological Data National Summary (CDNS) entry for this event is very limited on detail on the damage and this tornado is not included in Significant Tornadoes by Thomas Grazulis, so damage reports came from area newspapers.
CDNS states the tornado “did not extend to the surface” for most of its path and spent most of its time over open farmland. There was some sporadic damage though.
An article from The Pantagraph (Bloomington, IL) from November 14, 1951 breaks down some of the areas that were affected by the tornado. I found the following communities listed in the article that were also close to the official track: Mason City, Hopedale, Minier, Danvers, and Hudson. Lake Bloomington was also mentioned as having damage. It is located north of the ending point given by SPC. I am including those damage details.
- Mason City proper had no damage due to “the storm’s erratic behavior.”
- Three farms were hit SW of town.
- Most of the damage at the farm was confined to outbuildings.
- At the Fred Hill farm, “a galvanized roof on a barn was rolled up like fence wire.”
- At the same farm, a garage was hit. The car inside “was mashed down like a cardboard box.”
- Outbuildings destroyed on the Edward Schaubs and C.T. Ainsworth farms.
- Two miles SE of town, three farms were damaged.
- A garage and chicken house were damaged at one of the farms.
- Extensive damage at the Graff Implement Company.
- The funnel “apparently dropped on the building” according to employees.
- Doors were caved in.
- The tornado “blew in the roof over the rear of the concrete block structure.”
- Two tractors and two cars were damaged by falling debris.
- There were two mechanics working in the back of the building who escaped injury.
- There was a report of two funnels at Minier.
- The Arthur Kauffman farm was hit four miles SW of Danvers.
- A barn was damaged and a machine shed was nearly destroyed.
- Another farm was hit two miles SW of Danvers, that of Gilbert Ertwig.
- A combine was damaged at that farm.
- Witnesses described two funnels in this area.
- The roof of a horse barn at Evergreen Farm north of Hudson was scattered “along the lane leading to Route 51 and in the fields east of the highway.”
- Four or five telephone poles were blown down.
SPC coordinates: Start: 40.2 / -89.72 End: 40.6 / -88.98
Corrected Coordinates based on damage reports in Newspapers:
Start: 40.160280/-89.720611 End: 40.659468/-88.924467
Veers in path: 40.401014/-89.385691, 40.431556/-89.294707, 40.501252/-89.209752
The official SPC coordinates draw a path from just SW of Mason City to near Hudson. When you look at the map above, the path does clip Logan County. Based on damage reports that are listed in the summary, the path would have to pass through Logan County. Note: The length of corrected path is 55 miles – longer than the official path length of 47.4 miles.
Note: Exact tornado path may not be straight and/or continuous.
We gathered information for this event from the SPC & NCDC Databases and the November 1951 Climatological Data National Summary (CDNS) and found the following differences:
- SPC/NCDC have a 47.4 mile path length.
- CDNS has a length at 50 miles.
Counties in Path:
- NCDC puts all stats under Mason County.
- SPC/CDNS have Mason, Tazewell & McLean in the path.
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