Published Thursday June 26 Omaha World Herald 2003
Coleridge, Neb., tornado rated an F4
BY PAUL HAMMEL
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER
A tornado that killed a Coleridge, Neb., farmer and damaged nearly
a dozen farmsteads on Monday night packed winds of up to 260 miles
per hour and tossed cattle nearly a mile. That's the assessment of
Brian Smith, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in
Valley, Neb., who visited Coleridge on Tuesday.
Smith rated the tornado as an F4 on the Fujita damage scale, which
means a tornado that had winds between 207 and 260 mph. The scale rates
tornadoes from 0 to 5. An F5 tornado packs winds of between 261 and 318
mph with automobile-size material being thrown farther than 100 meters.
A Coleridge hog farmer, Curtis Papenhausen, 70, was killed in a shed
that collapsed as he tried to restore electricity to his hog farm during
A tornado on Sunday night that devastated Deshler, Neb., was rated an
F2 by the weather service. An F2 has winds of 113 to 157 mph.
The 1998 tornado that killed six people, injured several hundred others
and demolished 90 percent of Spencer, S.D., was rated F4, as were the
tornado that struck Omaha in May 1975, killing three people, and the seven
strong tornadoes that hit Grand Island in June 1980, killing five people.
Nebraska's last F5 tornado struck May 5, 1964, near Bradshaw, killing two
people and destroying at least a dozen farms.