1976 Spiro OK F5

Discussion in '1970s' started by Jeshua Everett, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. Jeshua Everett

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    I have been fascinated with this tornado for the mere fact there is so little info available for it. Kind of a mysterious one to me. I went with a friend while heading to check out Skulleyville, a ghost town E of Spiro (another crazy story) and while there, I followed the path of it paying attention to trees as I've noticed sometimes trees seem to never look the same even years after a tornado. As night fell it was hard to tell anything. I finally found some old newspaper articles mentioning a few names but those people and their families have moved out of the area and so my opportunities to interview them are slim. I have searched high and low to find out why it was rated an F5 and why that rating is disputed to no avail. Are there any veteran chasers or anyone from that area who might have been there during the tornado who can help me gain some insight?
     
  2. Michael Brown

    Michael Brown Lurker

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    I was a senior in high school in Pocola when this tornado hit. I was heading home from school and was going to go with our high school music teacher and some classmates to pick out music for graduation. On my way home to drop off my car the tornado warning came across the radio. We have tornado warnings all the time in the spring in Oklahoma, but it LOOKED bad. I told the teacher I needed to stay with my mom and my sisters. We went to our storm cellar. The tornado lifted a mile from our home. The tornado tore the asphalt off the highway. It took several cars off the railroad and threw them everywhere. It the tornado had hit later in the afternoon when everyone was home from school and the factories in Fort Smith the fatality rate would have been much higher.
     
  3. Jeshua Everett

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    Finally someone who experienced this event! Do you recall any damage that would lead you to assess an f5 rating to this tornado? The asphalt scouring is usually an indicator of a violent tornado, but I've read even weaker tornadoes have accomplished said feat. The railroad cars being thrown a distance is also an indicator of a violent tornado. Do you recall any stories from people who were directly in the tornado?
     

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