Hudsonville-Standale Tornado AnniversaryApril 3rd, 2014 at 12:01 am by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, News, Weather
Today, April 3rd, 2014, is the anniversary of the strongest tornado ever to hit the state of Michigan. The strongest wind on the surface of Earth in 1956 was on Van Buren Street in Hudsonville, Michigan on April 3, 1956. There were 17 fatalities (13 in Hudsonville) and 340 were injured. Take a moment and watch this YouTube film, pictures and map of the twister and this color film of the deadly storm. The tornado was rated F5, one of 59 F5 and EF5 tornadoes in the U.S. since 1950. There has been one in Canada. The tornado path was at least 48 miles continuous from Vriesland to Trufant in Montcalm Co. The twister was as wide as four football fields at one point! The first of four significant tornadoes that day came onshore off Lake Michigan at Saugatuck and destroyed the lighthouse there. That was an F4 tornado! It dissipated east of Holland with the Hudsonville-Standale tornado forming shortly thereafter, more than likely from the same parent storm. Another tornado struck near Bangor and stayed on the ground for 55 miles before lifting near Alto in SE Kent Co. That tornado injured twelve. Another tornado killed two in Benzie Co. Click here for more links to learn about other tornadoes in Michigan that day and the weather situation that produced them. Ernie Ostuno of the GRR NWS wrote a fantastic book on the event which you can order here (a great gift for someone interested in tornadoes, storms or weather). Here’s the Flicker Pictures that a commentator linked to. Today is also the anniversary of the Super Outbreak of Tornadoes in 1974. Here’s the article that NWS Meteorologist Ernie Ostuno wrote about the storms. Film of the damage. More film here. Click on the image to enlarge. This thread has been moved up from last year. New comments in 2014 start with #135.