A deadly tornado devastated Charles City 50 years ago today

Shortly before 5 PM on May 15, 1968 a massive F5 tornado tore through Charles City, Iowa, injuring hundreds and killing 13.

This above photo was taken by law enforcement and is the only known picture of the tornado. The original 8mm video footage below shows the destruction left behind in downtown Charles City.

The twister spread debris for miles. A paper receipt from a gas station was found in Winona, MN – about 80 miles away.

According to the National Weather Service, the tornado was on the ground for about 45 minutes, traveling 65 miles and reaching a width of 400 yards. It eventually dissipated just south of the Minnesota border.

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