SPC Stats

Path length: 25 miles

Width:  150 yards

Fatalities:  4

Injuries:  84

Rating:  F4

County:  Pottawatomie, Lincoln, Okfuskee

The SPC database shows two tornadoes on October 5, 1970. Both were in Oklahoma. The first was an F2 that crossed through Cleveland and Pottawatomie Counties. The second was a devastating F4 and the topic of this summary. 

This twister had a skipping 25 mile path and began over Shawnee in Pottawatomie County.  Per Storm Data, “it dipped near the center of town and moved toward the northeast. The tornado continued northeast, crossing Interstate 40 about 6 1/2 miles northeast of Shawnee. It then lifted, but came down again 3 1/2 miles southwest of Prague in Lincoln County. The tornado continued through the southwestern section of Prague and lifted 2 miles north of Paden in Okfuskee County”. 

157 businesses, 564 residential homes, 12 public buildings, 10 churches and 5 schools were damaged at Shawnee.  Most of the injuries and the four fatalities were in Shawnee. Below is a newspaper article about those who died: 

The tornado also hit the SW section of Prague.  Four were injured here. 14 homes and one business were damaged.

Tornado Path

Click map to enlarge.

SPC Coordinates: 35.33 / -96.93     End: 35.53 / -96.57.

Corrected Coordinates based on damage reports:

Start: 35.33 / -96.93    End: 35.537601/-96.565949

Veer in path: 35.47 / -96.838646, 35.464724/-96.747402

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

Image from Social Media

Newspaper Clippings

Discrepancies:

We gathered information for this event from the SPC & NCDC Databases, the October 1970 Storm Data Publication and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:

Width:

  • SPC/NCDC have a 150 yard width.
  • Storm Data gives a range of widths from 100-200 yards.
  • Grazulis has a width of 200 yards.

      Sources:

      The Storm Prediction Center

      NCDC Storm Events Database

      October 1970 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 1120.

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