National Weather Service
MAY 6, 1975 OMAHA TORNADO
This photo of the Omaha Tornado was taken near Aksarben (72nd and Mercy Rd.) by Bob Dunn
 

Several Damage Photos - Click Here

More Info,Stories and Photos at http://www.omaha5675.org/


CHRONOLOGY

12:37 PM
- National Weather Service's Severe Storms Forecast Center at Kansas City issued a tornado watch for eastern Nebraska valid from 2PM - 8PM.

1 PM - 2 PM
- REACT spotters activated their network at locations in Sarpy and Douglas Counties.

2:05 PM
- Weather Service Forecast Office, Omaha, issued a severe thunderstorm warning for several counties including Sarpy and Douglas. It was based on radar reports and was transmitted to the REACT network, to broadcasters, the Communication Center, and the Police and Sheriff's Department via the NOAA Weather Wire.

3:15 PM
- Weather Service Forecast Office issued another multi-county severe thunderstorm warning valid until 4:30 PM an included the Omaha metropolitan area. It was based on radar indications and reports of severe weather and hail to the south and southwest of Omaha.

4:07 PM
- Pottawattamie County sounds Tornado Alarms for a tornado being sighted (Not the tornado that strikes Omaha).

4:09 PM
- Colonel Tracy (REACT) reports spotting of tornado in Sarpy County. Several other sightings by citizens in same general area together with strong radar echoes. Sarpy County sounds Alarms for LaVista-Papillion for a tornado spotted near Springfield.

4:14 PM
- Tornado warning for Omaha area and three-county area issued by Weather Service Forecast Office.

4:29 PM
- Sirens in Omaha sounded. A brief touchdown reported at 132nd Street and Harrison

4:33 PM
- Several tornado reports received from REACT, AREC, Sheriff's Office, Police Division, Fire Division and the public. The tornado touched down hitting apartments at 96th and Q. Bergan-Mercy Hospital is hit.

4:34 PM - 4:43 PM
- Captain Robert Rockwell, Fire Division, followed tornado giving location, movement, and description of damage.

4:36 PM
- Tornado moves north along 84th from the South side of I80

4:38 PM
- Tornado shifts east from 84th St.

4:40 PM
- Interstate 80 closed to traffic. Some injured persons on highway.

4:42 PM - 4:49 PM
- Patrolman David Campbell drove along beside tornado sounding siren and reporting location, movement, and damage. Both Rockwell and Campbell gave information that was valuable in dispatching rescue unites and in routing traffic. Heavy winds hit Ak-Sarben area. 72nd and Pacific area hit.

4:58 PM
- Tornado lifted and dissipated in Benson Park.


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Tornadoes in Eastern Nebraska
and Western Iowa May 6, 1975
Track of the Tornado

STORM REPORT

Tornado touched down in northern Sarpy County just south of Omaha. Tornado moves north-northeast through residential and business areas of west central Omaha, lifting over the northern section of the city. Extensive damage to apartments, businesses, homes, schools, autos, trucks, and trees. At times damage area was a quarter mile wide.


Time-Local Standard Length of Path (Miles) Width of Path (Yards) Killed - Injured Property Damage Crop Damage
3:33 pm-3:50 pm 10 200-300 3 133 Code 8 Code 2


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Damage estimates ranged from $250 million to $500 million. The number of homes destroyed was 287 with damage to 1400 others. The time of day aided in the warning process as a spotter saw the tornado in Sarpy County during the daylight hours and children were no longer in school. The NWS aided by REACT and Civil Defense systems provided good lead time for the residents of Douglas County. Three people did perish. An elderly woman died in her home and likely did not hear the warnings. A waitress was killed in a restaurant as she huddled with others in the restroom. A man was killed while seeking shelter at a gas station.


HISTORIC OMAHA
TORNADOES COMPARED

 

  March 23, 1913 May 6, 1975
Known Dead 94 3
Injured (est.)   322   200-300
Damage (est.)  $3.5M   $300-500M
Fires   50 None
Residences Destroyed or Damaged   3,179;   4,000-5,000

/images/oax/archive/may1975/5675sfc.gif (116767 bytes) /images/oax/archive/may1975/5675stlt.gif (283312 bytes) /images/oax/archive/may1975/5675oth.gif (268833 bytes)
Surface Map/Satellite Satellite Sequence Multiple Tornadoes Along This Boundary
Reference - CIRA Colorado State University

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