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Iowa History Daily: July 17 - 1971 Eastern Iowa Tornadoes

Iowa History Daily: On July 12, 1971 five tornadoes touched down across Iowa. The largest, an F4, traveled nearly 30 miles on the ground through parts of Howard, Chickasaw, and Fayette counties while severely impacting farmsteads and the towns of Elma, Lawler, and Waucoma.

Although the storm produced no casualties, eight people found themselves injured in the storm. As the storm raged across northeastern Iowa over on a southeastern storm path skirting just north of Chickasaw and ending near Fayette, over 50 farms sustained significant damage.

The Des Moines Register quoted a local man assessing the damage: “in that area between Elma and Alta Vista they have those farms pounded right down into the ground about now.” A massive June hailstorm in the area paired with the tornado’s destruction to threaten the livelihoods of area farmers.

Another tornado touched down near Grafton in Worth County and wound its way toward Stacyville in Mitchell County. Reports detailed over 5,000 acres of crops destroyed and major damage to at least eight farmsteads. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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