Belmond Tornado of 1966

In Historical by Jeff Wilcox

Continuing with historical Autumn weather events, this post reflects on the only F5 tornado to occur in Iowa in the fall. The Belmond Tornado of October 14th 1966. It occurred on Homecoming, Belmond was to play Lake Mills that night in football. The homecoming parade had just ended when the sky began to darken to the west. The large tornado swept through town a little before 3pm that Friday afternoon. Most of the children had returned to schools when the tornado struck. Teachers herded their children to the basements until the storm passed. 6 people died in the storm, over 170 more were injured. The tornado was rated an F5 on the Fujita Scale. It was the first F5 tornado in Iowa at the time since 1953 when an F5 tornado struck Cass and Adair Counties in SW Iowa. The next F5 tornado would be the twin F5’s at Charles City and Oelwein less than two years later May 15th 1968.

More Stories from Survivors can be found from the Globe Gazette’s Link below.
Globe Gazette’s 40th Anniversary Coverage from 2006