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  • Has Omaha Ever Had a Tornado?

    Has Omaha Ever Had a Tornado?

    The largest city in the state of Nebraska, Omaha is known for its rich history and vibrant culture. Compared to other cities, Omaha might seem quiet and quaint; however, there is a degree of danger that lurks in this Midwestern city, and that danger is due to the weather. Located in the infamous Tornado Alley, the region of the United States that is prone to experiencing wild weather – in particular, tornadoes (hence the name) – Omaha has, indeed, experienced tornadoes. In fact, over the course of history, several tornadoes have touched down in Omaha, NE.

    Has Omaha Ever Had a Tornado?

    Whether you’re relocating to Omaha or you’re just planning a visit and you’re curious about the weather you could encounter, keep on reading. Below, we explore the history of tornadoes in the Omaha metro area and the impact they’ve had on this Midwestern city.

    The Easter Tornado of 1913

    An average of 50 tornadoes occur in Nebraska each year, so they aren’t a rare occurrence. However, on March 23, 1913, the city experienced one of its deadliest twisters. It was Easter Sunday and what started out as a spring-like day quickly turned into one of death and destruction. The storm tore through Saunders and Cass Counties. Within just over half an hour, the tornado had traveled across 40 miles of Nebraska and by that evening, it reached Omaha.

    Within seconds, Omaha was turned completely upside-down. The tornado left a trail of death and destruction in its wake. A total of 800 homes were destroyed and another 2,000 were damaged. Even worse, 103 people were killed. The Easter Tornado of 1913 caused an estimated $8.7 million in damage.

    The Omaha Tornado of 1975

    Another notable tornado tore through Omaha on May 6, 1975. Dubbed the Omaha Tornado, this twister was part of an extensive outbreak of severe weather that impacted several states. In fact, it was the largest and costliest of 36 tornadoes that tore through Tornado Alley that day. Three people were killed and 133 were injured. The damage was valued at an estimated $250 to $300 million (which would equate to roughly $1.4 to $1.6 billion today).

    Recent Tornado Activity in Nebraska

    The city of Omaha experienced its most recent tornado activity on Friday, May 12, 2023. On this date, a path of unsettled weather hit the state of Nebraska. A total of 15 confirmed tornadoes touched down, damaging several communities and injuring several individuals. It was reported that the storms produced grapefruit-sized hail, intense winds, and a number of powerful tornadoes.

    Tornado Preparedness Tips

    Given the fact that tornadoes are a pretty common occurrence in Omaha, particularly during the spring season, it’s important to be prepared. The city has an advanced tornado warning system in place. Be sure to pay attention. If you hear any sirens or emergency alerts, seek immediate shelter.

    Taking cover underground is ideal; however, if that isn’t possible, head to an interior room, away from windows. If you’re outside, head inside. It’s also a wise idea to invest in a tornado preparedness kit that includes medical and other emergency supplies (flashlights, bottled water, a battery-operated radio, etc.).

    When it comes to tornadoes, it’s best to err on the side of caution. If you’re going to be in the Omaha area, be aware and prepared, as it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

    Additional Information: Top ten killer tornadoes in Nebraska history

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