We’re well accustomed to bad weather here in Nebraska, but sometimes we get complacent and forget just how much damage these little wind storms can cause. This weekend saw devastating tornadoes just south of us in Kansas. Here’s a few of the absolute worst from our past. We’ll post this in two parts with part 1 today, part 2 later this week.
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National Weather Service | Omaha/Valley, NE Weather Forecast Office
The Tornadoes of Easter 1913
The top ten killer tornadoes in Nebraska history may surprise you. Most people from Nebraska have vivid memories of the Omaha tornado on May 6, 1975, or the Grand Island tornadoes of June 3, 1980. While these tornadoes did significant amounts of damage, they are not the a part of the top ten killer tornadoes. In fact, there has been only one tornado in Nebraska history that has killed 100 or more people. Since 1953, there has not been a tornado that has killed over 10 people.
Here is a listing of the top three killer tornadoes in Nebraska history:
1. The Omaha Tornado March 23, 1913 – 101 Dead
This was the darkest day in Nebraska severe weather history. A family of at least seven tornadoes moved across Nebraska and Iowa. The Omaha tornado was the deadliest. It started in Sarpy County, ripping its way northeast through Ralston, where seven people died. The twister then cut a quarter-mile wide path across Omaha and killed 94 people, with 600 homes destroyed and over 1,100 others damaged in this tornado. Two children were killed southeast of Beebeetown in Harrison County, Iowa.
2. The Yutan Tornado March 23, 1913 – 20 Dead
The tornado crossed the Platte River 3 miles SW of Valley. 2 people died west of Logan, IA. This tornado, also on the outbreak of March 23rd, started 1 mile southeast of Mead. The tornado moved northeast and destroyed the northern half of Yutan, killing 17 people. The tornado continued moving northeast and killed another person just outside of town. The tornado killed two other people on farms northeast of Yutan. 40 homes and 4 churches were destroyed or damaged, with losses at about $100,000. The twister crossed the Platte River southwest of Valley and continued to move northeast across Washington County. The tornado ended in Harrison County, Iowa where two people were killed in Logan.
We’ll continue this article later this week. Stay tuned, and stay safe.