Iowa History Daily: June 13 - Story County Tornado of '76

Iowa History Daily: On June 13, 1976, one of the largest tornadoes in the history of Iowa formed near Luther before moving north-by-northeast across US Highway 30 between Boone and Ames. The nearly mile-wide F5 tornado churned destruction before ripping through the small community of Jordan.

The largest tornado in the area’s history, the cyclone gained strength after touching down and spawned four smaller satellite tornadoes while moving to the west of Ames. Riding a strong downburst wind, the tornado approached the farm of Roland Schoof forcing the family to desperately flee in face of the ferocious funnel.

The parent tornado started to spawn smaller funnels, including an F3 anticycolonic which followed the main storm roughly two miles to its east. Skirting the Boone-Story County Line to the northwest of Ames, the tornado eventually lifted roughly four miles from Gilbert at 4:15 p.m. The straight line winds which guided the tornado between Boone and Ames then roared at from the northwest at incredible speeds to pair with the tornados in demolishing more than 60 homes and 300 farm buildings.

Hours later the Schoof family returned to find their home demolished and a tractor buried nose deep in the Iowa topsoil. The family, unsure of who owned the unfamiliar tractor also wondered where the wind swept their car. #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryCalendar



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