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Kansas, Harvey

Public Information Statement

Statement as of 6:00 AM CDT on May 25, 2015

... On this date in weather history...

In 1955... two violent F5 tornadoes struck north central
Oklahoma and extreme south central Kansas. The first
tornado... possessing a track 25 miles long and around one
half mile wide... tore through downtown Blackwell Oklahoma
where 20 were killed... 280 were injured... and $8 million
damage resulted. Around 400 homes were destroyed... many
of which were swept from their foundations. Around 60
businesses were heavily damaged or destroyed. Prior to
hitting Blackwell the tornado caused $150,000 damage to
Tonkawa. The lightning associated with the tornado was
incredible! The vortex glowed and possessed arcs of
glowing light.The tragic Udall tornado immediately
followed. Possessing a track 30 miles long and averaging
one half mile wide... the tornado leveled most of
Udall... killed 75... injured 270... and caused $2.25
million damage. The tornado also killed 5 children 3
miles northeast of Oxford... bringing the total number of
fatalities to 80. It is still the deadliest tornado in
Kansas history. In 1917... another F5 tornado even larger
than either the Blackwell or Udall tornadoes roared
across south central Kansas. It had a track 65 miles
long and reached one mile wide. The tornado killed
23... injured 70... and caused $600,000 damage from
northwest Sedgwick to Southeast Marion counties. Its
average speed of 65 mph was the fastest on record until
the tri-state tornado of March 18... 1925.


In 2008... a monstrous EF5 tornado went on a 43 mile
rampage across northeast Iowa.Reaching 3/4 of a mile
wide... the vicious vortex possessed rotational velocities
that reached 205 mph. Hardest hit was
Parkersburg... where 7 were killed and around $3 million
damage resulted. Two others were killed in the Tiny Town
of New Hartford. The tornado killed 9... injured 70... and
caused around $6 million damage... which no doubt would
have been much higher had the twister struck a more
populated area. Regardless... it is the 2nd deadliest
tornado in Iowa history... exceeded by a huge F5 that tore
through Charles City on may 15... 1968... where and when 13
were killed.

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