Kalamazoo Tornado – 33 years ago todayMay 13th, 2013 at 7:00 am by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
Thirty-Three years ago today, an F3 (158-206 mph) tornado cut an 11-mile path from eastern Van Buren right through downtown Kalamazoo. In 20 minutes (about 3:40 PM to 4 PM), the storm left 5 dead and 79 injured. Damage totaled 50 million dollars (that’s 1980 dollars). Three hundred homes and 150 businesses were severely damaged or destroyed. Note the picture on the right and what it tells you about tornado safety. Go to the lowest floor…the first floor offered better protection than the 2nd floor…and stay away from windows. You can see the first floor windows are broken. Glass probably blew inward and debris could easily have come through the windows. Interior rooms on the lowest floor provide the best protection. Here’s lots of information on the twister. More info here. and here. Here’s more pictures, and here’s a map of the tornado’s path. Here’s a slide show from YouTube. Here’s a first-hand account of the storm.