|Public Information Statement|
Statement as of 6:00 am CDT on May 20, 2013
... On this date in weather history...
In 1957... an F4 tornado cut a path of near total
devastation from Williamsburg Kansas through the
southeast suburbs of Kansas City. The track was 71 miles
long and nearly one half mile wide. The twister killed
44 and injured 531. Of these totals... 7 deaths and 31
injuries occurred in Kansas... where many homes were
leveled. In Missouri... 37 were killed and 500 more were
injured. Most injuries and fatalities were in the
southeast Kansas City suburbs of Ruskin Heights and
Hickman Mills... where probable F5 damage was inflicted to
housing developments and to some of the 15 stores at a
shopping center. It was the worst weather related
disaster to date in Kansas City. The most bizarre
incident involved a small house that was destroyed. All
that remained was a small table with a fish bowl on top.
Reportedly the fish continued to swim... apparently
unconcerned. In 1916... Codell was struck by an F2
tornado with a track 15 miles long and around one quarter
mile wide. Fortunately there were no injuries or
fatalities... although $12,000 damage resulted.This
marked the beginning of an eerie tornadic
occurrence... for tornadoes would strike the town on may
20th... 1917 and again in 1918.Each successive event
would be more intense than it's predecessor. In
1917... an F3 twister with a track 25 miles long and three
fourths of a mile wide... struck 2 miles west of Codell.
Fortunately there were no deaths or injuries as the
twister struck rural areas. In 1918... nature completed
the eerie tornadic trifecta... but this time... the event
would be deadly. The strongest of the 3 tornadoes to hit
Codell had a track 65 miles long and around one half mile
wide. This violent F4 began 3 miles south of Ellis in
western Ellis County. Moving northeast... the tornado
tore through Codell... where many buildings were blown
apart.Amazingly there were no deaths or injuries.
After leaving Codell... the tornado greatly intensified.
Farms were leveled and 2 were killed. The first fatality
was 2 miles northeast of town and the second 6 miles
northeast of Codell. The tornado then roared into
Osborne County where around 30 farms were destroyed and
one was killed. In all... the tornado killed 9... injured
65... and caused around $475,000 damage... of which $50,000
occurred in Codell.