Stats

Path length: 11 miles

Width:  267 yards

Fatalities:  2

Injuries:  25

Rating:  F4

County:  Rush

Tornado Path

Click Map To Enlarge

SPC coordinates:  Start: 39.62 / -85.48   End:  39.52 / -85.37      

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

Summary

A significant tornado crossed through parts of Rush County, IN on July 9, 1980. There was a total nine tornadoes that day across four states. The strongest was this F4 in Rush County. Per Storm Data, it began in an open field betwen US Highway 52 and SR 44, approximately two miles west of Rushville. Commercial buildings were hit on SR 44. Two miles south of Rushville, three homes were leveled and there were two deaths in two separate homes. After traveling east for about five miles, the tornado made an abrupt 120 degree turn and traveled in a southerly direction. It dissipated one mile SW of New Salem.

In all, ten homes and 48 farm buildings were completely destroyed. Numerous other homes, buildings and business were heavily damaged. There were 25 injuries (nine were hospitalized). Per Storm Data, “Radar, personal interviews and Indiana State Police information places touchdown at 935pm EST with final dissipation at 1010pm. A speed of 25 mph toward the SE was indicated by radar. Victims interviewed took shelter when they saw the tornado approaching less than several hundred feet away. None made it to a planned safe spot, but south refuge in bathtubs, halls, etc. All were aware to varying degrees of the severe weather watches and warnings in existence elsewhere in Indiana.”

Newspaper Clippings

Discrepancies:

We gathered information for this event from the SPC & NCDC Databases, the July 1980 Storm Data Publication and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:

Path Length:

  • Storm Data has a length of 13 miles.
  • Remaining sources have a 11 mile length.

Width:

  • SPC/NCDC has a width of 267 yards.
  • Storm Data lists 266 yards.  Within they summary they lists different width in feet.
  • Grazulis has not width listed.

      Sources:

      The Storm Prediction Center

      NCDC Storm Events Database

      July 1980 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 1225.

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