On April 11, 1965, and over a time span of approximately 12 hours, one of the most infamous tornado events in United States history took place across the Southern Great Lakes region. Jet maxes like this are rather rare in winter storms, let alone punching into the warm sector of a severe weather outbreak. She was still in a state of shock.". So, as we look back half a century at one of the most notorious tornado events in the United States, it remains to be seen what will happen when something like this occurs once again in the Great Lakes region, as advances in technology are challenged by population growth and urban sprawl. "Somehow, we got out of the car mostly unscathed ... the three of us kind of backed up against the garage near this house and kind of held on for the winds to subside," Hammond said. Subscribe to MLive.com. m_gallery_blog_id = "4469"; The first tornado touched down around 5:30 PM in Koontz Lake, Indiana. The tornado killed 18 people. "It was changing colors, strange colors," said Syrek. Many people escaped because they were at church. About the same time, an F-1 tornado formed in Allegan County, killing one person along a 12-mile path near Hamilton and Dorr. The tornado arrived, tossing the popcorn wagon -- with Syrek still inside -- into the air. "I wouldn't say overdue, all it takes is one right setup, and it could happen at anytime.". Damage at the Midway Trailer Park near Dunlap. As it continued east, it killed 10 more people in Greentown, most who were riding in automobiles. Source: Plymouth State Reanalysis. Memories of sheet steel flying across the road came to surface. West Michigan was still shaking off the winter doldrums that included 3 feet of snow in March, the snowiest on record, Ostuno said. It became a city in 1967 and opened a middle school in 1969, which replaced the old junior high school, and eventually demolishing the 1900 building. Likewise, Thompson, who was on that joyride, had no idea of the danger as she and her boyfriend crossed into the tornado's trajectory. 1965 Palm Sunday tornado destruction, survivors, When tornadoes ravaged Michigan: Historic photos on outbreak's 50th anniversary, the 2014 tornado the wreaked havoc in Wyoming and Kentwood, Grand Rapids tornadoes: Here are 5 notable events in West Michigan history. Five people were killed when the tornado flipped over a bus. The latter claimed 6 lives. Daily 500 mb geopotential height progression loop for 4/7 to 4/11/65. (Andrew Berrington). The Palm Sunday Tornado Memorial Park now exists. After he detected the thunderstorm, Jensen called the office in Waterloo and Des Moines to alert them about the storm. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. Plus, the bulletins strayed from using the word "tornado" as not to worry people, said meteorologist Ernie Ostuno, who has exhaustively studied the event. This page was last changed on 12 July 2020, at 13:19. While the damage was over in Illinois, the storms raced eastward wreaking havoc on communities across Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. Deadly Palm Sunday tornado survivors recall 'end of the world' 50 years later Updated Apr 03, 2019; Posted Apr 12, 2015 1965 Palm Sunday tornado destruction, survivors The same tornado caused severe damage to homes in Grafton. "My buddy and I got out to see if we could help anybody there, and we saw a car crushed with someone in it, a woman buried under a pile of cinder blocks.". Other victims were nearby, but dead, Thompson learned. Commonly known as the Palm Sunday Tornado Outbreak (more precisely, the second Palm Sunday Tornado Outbreak, following one in 1920 and preceding another in 1994), numerous fast-moving tornadoes were unleashed upon the states of Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. Upper 50s dewpoints were present over Michigan, increasing to middle 60s further south into central Indiana and Ohio. F4 damage in Greentown, Indiana. The events of April 11, 1965 ended up becoming the primary catalyst in the development of the tornado watch and warning program that is still in use today, whose necessity was highlighted in the Weather Bureau’s service report in the wake of the outbreak. This was followed about two and a half hours later by another F4, which struck the northwestern Chicago suburb of Crystal Lake and killed 6 more. m_gallery_title = "1965 Palm Sunday tornado destruction, survivors"; Nine years later, even more significant advances would occur following the Super Outbreak, with the development of Doppler radar and expanding satellite presence. The 1965 Palm Sunday tornado outbreak was the second tornado outbreak to strike the United States on Palm Sunday.From April 11 to 12, 1965, tornadoes touched down in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan.It was the second biggest outbreak at the time. "(Deanna) was pitted with glass ... she didn't look too good.". Syrek suffered nine broken fingers, 10 broken toes, a dislocated knee and a fractured tailbone, among other injuries. The tornado killed 14 people. "We were in a state of shock. Or do they? "There's no conceivable reason why we can go another 38 years without a destructive tornado," he said. Tornadoes continued from Indiana to Ohio where additional fatalities occurred.
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