TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Sixty-six years ago today, May 25, 1955, a tornado struck Udall, Kansas. It would be the deadliest tornado ever to hit the state.
An F-5 tornado hit the town of Udall, killing 80 and injuring more than 200. The region had endured three days of storms, one of which hit Oklahoma, killing 20. But, at 10:30 p.m., a tornado hit Udall, becoming the deadliest storm in Kansas history.
The entire southern part of Udall was destroyed, and the northern part was seriously damaged.
The only buildings to survive unscathed were the bank, the post office, and one other business. In total, 192 buildings and 170 homes were destroyed.
The only habitable structure left in town was a frame dwelling with only minor damage on the extreme northwest edge of town.”National Weather Service
Nearly 20% of the population was killed.
It was determined the tornado had been on the ground for 50 miles, and damage could be traced for 18 miles.
There was some ‘skipping,’ but the greatest skip was on the order of 3 1/2 miles. This evidence, together with the radar evidence, strongly suggests that this one storm had a continuous path for more than 50 miles.”National Weather Service
The National Weather Service reported witness accounts were not available for days due to the shock so many had endured.