SPC Stats

Path length: 56.5 miles

Width:  200 yards

Fatalities:  9

Injuries:  210

Rating:  F4

County:  Pike, Lincoln, Lawrence, Simpson

An outbreak of 39 tornadoes occurred across parts of nine states on January 10, 1975.  The strongest tornado of the day was given a rating of F4.  It had a long track through parts of Pike, Lincoln, Lawrence and Simpson Counties in Mississippi.  Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes notes that this may have been a family of tornadoes.  There is a discrepancy in the path length from the various sources we use to research tornado events.  The Storm Prediction Center has a length of 56.6 miles while Grazulis and Storm Data have the length at 47 miles.  

The tornado developed near the dam at the Percy Quin State Park Lake in Pike County.  A marina and seven other buildings were destroyed.  The twister moved into the towns of McComb and Summit causing tremendous damage.  38 blocks in McComb had damage.  Here are the specifics on the damage in McComb/Summit from Storm Data:

  • 88 homes destroyed, 30 badly damaged, 97 with moderate damage.
  • 80 apartment units destroyed.
  • 30 businesses destroyed.
  • 2 schools with heavy damage (one in McComb and one in Summit).
  • 2 National Guard Armories heavily damaged.
  • 150-200 cars damaged/destroyed.
  • 36 homes destroyed outside McComb.
  • 580 power poles down.

Four people were killed in Pike County.  One was in an automobile and three others in an apartment complex. 

The tornado continued to track to the northeast into SE Lincoln County.  Seven homes were destroyed and eight had major damage.  Five mobile homes, 19 barns, 17 other farm buildings and one camper was destroyed.  Five cars were demolished.  Five deaths occurred in Lincoln County.  One was in a frame house and four were in three of the five destroyed mobile homes.  

The tornado raced through NW Lawrence County crossing mainly through forest and fields.  One house near Sontag was destroyed.

In Simpson County, the tornado damaged a mobile home in the Bush Community.  In the Camper Community, two homes were destroyed and an anchored mobile home was torn apart and scattered across the road.  Its frame was twisted around a utility pole. 

On May 5, 1975, Elvis Presley held a concert at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson, MS to help the victims of this tornado. He raised $108,860.  

Tornado Path

Click Map To Enlarge

SPC coordinates:  Start: 31.18 / -90.53   End:  31.87 / -89.97

Corrected Coordinates based on damage reports:

Start: 31.173154/-90.528004     End: 31.892554/-89.945744

Veers in path: 31.257681/-90.465381, 31.285433/-90.463259, 31.663027/-90.199319      

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

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Discrepancies:

We gathered information for this event from the SPC & NCDC Databases, the January 1975 Storm Data Publication and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:

Path Length:

  • SPC/NCDC have a 56.5 mile path
  • Storm Data & Grazulis list a 47 mile path with Grazulis noting this was probably a family of tornadoes. 

    Sources:

    The Storm Prediction Center

    NCDC Storm Events Database

    January 1975 Storm Data Publication

    GenDisasters Article about the Event with Comments from Survivors

    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 1171.

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