The strongest tornado in Oakland County since 1950 occurred on March 20, 1976. This tornado occurred in West Bloomfield, and resulted in 1 death and 55 injuries. It was categorized as an F4 (out of 5) on the Fujita scale. 91 homes, a mobile home, 23 businesses, and around 25 automobiles were either destroyed or damaged from the tornado. With total damage of over $5 million, this tornado also ranks as the costliest tornado in Oakland County.
Another F4 tornado occurred in Oakland County on July 4, 1957. This tornado moved from just southeast of Brighton in Livingston County to just west of Novi. Though no one was killed in either county as a result of this tornado, 2 injuries resulted in Oakland County. Several homes were destroyed or damaged in the tornado's path.
There have been 3 F3 tornadoes in Oakland County: 6/8/53, 8/2/72, and 9/14/90 (1:10 PM). The 1953 tornado was the only one of the three to result in injuries (4) as it moved from the far east part of Livingston County into the Milford area. 4 homes, a barn, 5 stores and several cars were damaged or destroyed. Total damage was over $500,000.
The remaining tornadoes in Oakland County since 1950 have either been F2, F1, or F0. An F2 tornado that occurred in Novi on 6/21/87 resulted in one death and 6 injuries. The following is an excerpt from Storm Data regarding this tornado:
The funnel touched down in the south-central part of the Chateau Estates mobile home park. The man killed and the two persons most seriously injured were in a unit that was lifted over the top of an adjacent unit and dropped, then that adjacent unit was lifted and dropped on top of it. 57 mobiles homes were destroyed, 84 seriously damaged, and 86 slightly damaged. Total damage was $1.7 million. 138 persons were homeless.
An F1 tornado on 7/2/97 occurred 3 miles northeast of Holly, resulting in one death and $2 million in damage when the tornado destroyed a mobile home park. This tornado was part of an outbreak of 13 tornadoes in southeast Lower Michigan, the largest number for a single day since records have been kept.
Fujita Tornado Scale:
F0 - Gale Tornado (42-72 mph)
F1 - Moderate Tornado (73-112 mph)
F2 - Significant Tornado (113-157 mph)
F3 - Severe Tornado (158-206 mph)
F4 - Devastating Tornado (207-260 mph)
F5 - Incredible Tornado (261-318 mph)
Statistics Updated: 12/03/2003