SPC Stats

Path length: 27.9 miles

Width:  200 yards

Fatalities:  3

Injuries:  52

Rating:  F4

County:  Iron, Washington

An estimated F4 tornado moved through parts of Iron and Washington Counties in Missouri during the early AM of December 21, 1967.  It began south of Viburnum.  A house and house trailer was hit between Viburnum and Bixby.  5 were injured.  The tornado traveled to the northeast and weakened in intensity near the Quaker area.  As the tornado moved toward Potosi, it strengthened again.  Approximately 2 blocks of the Potosi business district had extensive damage.  The City Hall, library, a large supermarket and a shopping center complex were hit.  The tornado hit a trailer court at Highways E and 21.  9-year-old Julia Hunter was killed here.  

Northeast of this area, a home was swept from its foundation and Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Haggard were killed.

Storm Data Entry

A tornado which was eventually to devastate the business district of Potosi first touched down in extreme western Iron County 2 ½ miles South of Viburnum. Five persons were injured as the tornado destroyed a house and a house trailer in a trailer park on Highway 49 midway between Viburnum and Bixby. An aerial survey showed essentially continuous damage from this location to the NE passing SE of Viburnum and into SW Washington County near Route Z, 2 S and 1 E of Courtois, and continuing to the Quaker community on Route C, 4 E and 1 N of Courtois. NE of Quaker the tornado decreased in intensity and caused only occasional damage to timber in the Clark National Forecast.

Just SW of Potosi, the vortex apparently intensified. Damaged lowered from treetop levels to ground level in a residential area on a ridge in SE Potosi. About two blocks to the NE the tornado destroyed a portion of the Potosi business district, including the City Hall, library, a large supermarket and a shopping center complex. Beyond the business area, the damage path became less complete as it climbed a ridge to the NE. At the junction of Highways E and 21, the tornado hit a trailer court killing one child and injuring about 15 as 13 trailers were either totally destroyed or badly damaged.

The path continued NE along Highway E destroying and damaging homes. Two people were killed in this area as their home was swept from its foundation and scattered to the NE. The tornado apparently lifted or dissipated along Highway E about 1-mile NE of Highway 21 as only minor wind damaged occurred beyond this point. The Red Cross reported 24 homes and trailers destroyed, 14 business places destroyed, 81 houses and trailers damaged, 3 churches damaged with minor additional damage to many buildings.

Tornado Path

SPC coordinates:  Start: 37.68 / -91.13      End: 37.95 / -90.75

Added county coordinates per the NCDC Database

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

Newspaper Clippings

Discrepancies:

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

Path Length:

  • SPC/NCDC have a 27.9 mile path length.
  • Grazulis and Storm Data have a length at 33 miles.

      Sources:

      The Storm Prediction Center

      NCDC Storm Events Database

      December 1967 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 1095.

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