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Minnesota Twisters

Tornadoes can happen anywhere. Minnesota has had many of them, some quite bad. On May, 10, 1953 eastern MN and western WI, 5 unusually strong tornadoes struck the area. Four of them were F4 and one was an F3.


One F4 tornado moved northeast from northeast of Fountain City, WI to Colburn, WI. This tornado (or possibly a tornado family) struck about a hundred farms. Eight farms were hit in Glencoe Township, northeast of Fountain City. Total damage from this tornado was $1 million and it caused 10 injuries. The tornado was on the ground for approximately 65 miles, reaching a width of 200 yards. This tornado has one of the longest recorded tornado tracks in Wisconsin history.


A second F4 tornado started around 5 miles southwest of Chester, IA and moved to around 4 miles northeast of Chatfield, MN, 45 miles reaching a width of 400 yards. Many farms were heavily damaged in northern Iowa before this tornado crossed into Fillmore County, MN. Twenty barns were damaged or destroyed in Minnesota and one man was killed as his barn was destroyed 1 mile southeast of Wykoff. A rural school was leveled 3 miles south of Chatfield as well.


The third F4 tornado moved northeast and passed about 2 miles northwest of St. Charles, MN. Farms were torn up along the track. An infant was killed (Olmsted County) and 4 other people were injured in a car that was thrown 100 feet. Four more injuries occurred in a barn, and three more in another car. Hundreds of trees were snapped at Whitewater State Park. Overall, this tornado killed one person and injured 11 people. This tornado also had the shortest track out of the F4's on this day, remaining on the ground for 18 miles, but still reaching a width of 400 yards.


The final F4 tornado moved across Rusk, Price, and Taylor counties in Wisconsin. This storm tracked north-northeast to 7 miles north of Phillips, about 45 miles, but the damage path was not continuous and reached up to 200 yards wide. One farm house was leveled and pieces of it were found 7 miles away. The tornado was most intense in Price County where F4 damage was witnessed for 12 miles and caused over $150,000 in damage.


'Tis the season for severe storms and tornadoes, anytime...anywhere. Ya'll stay safe. Thanks again..have a great week!


Article published on May 15th, 2023 by Greg Dixon

HLEW Weather Rewind



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