Jump to content

1980 Kalamazoo tornado

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kalamazoo Tornado of 1980
F3 tornado
FormedMay 13, 1980 (1980-05-13), 4:09 pm EDT
Max. rating1F3 tornado
Fatalities5 fatalities
Areas affectedKalamazoo, Michigan, United States
1Most severe tornado damage; see Fujita scale

The Kalamazoo Tornado of 1980 struck downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan, on Tuesday, May 13, 1980. The tornado, which touched down at 4:09 pm, was rated F3 on the Fujita scale. The tornado killed 5 people and injured 79. Damage was estimated at $50,000,000, which included $1,800,000 in vehicle damage.[1][2]


Map of the tornado path.

The tornado left a path of destruction 11 miles (18 km) long during its approximately 16-minute duration.[3] It was notable for having struck the heart of downtown, damaging or destroying many notable buildings, parks, and landmarks. The massive F3 caused a power outage so extensive, phone companies pleaded for people to only use phones for emergencies. In total, the storm caused 5 deaths, 79 injuries, and about 1,200 people were left homeless.[4]

An hour prior to the St. Augustine Elementary School being destroyed, all 328 students were sent home early thanks to adequate warning.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Kalamazoo 1980 Tornado". Kalamazoo County, Michigan, Genealogy and Local History. Archived from the original on February 24, 2008. Retrieved July 30, 2006.
  2. ^ a b "Tracing the Path: The 1980 Kalamazoo Tornado". Tracing the Path: The 1980 Kalamazoo Tornado. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  3. ^ "TWISTER! The 1980 Tornado". Kalamazoo Public Library – Local History. Archived from the original on May 27, 2010. Retrieved June 9, 2010.
  4. ^ "TORNADO!". Vanished Kalamazoo. Archived from the original on September 8, 2006. Retrieved July 30, 2006.

External links[edit]