- 1980 Grand Island tornado outbreak
Infobox tornado outbreak|name=1980 Grand Island tornado outbreak
June 3, 1980
duration=2 hours, 15 minutes
total damages (USD)=$285.05 million (1980 USD)
The 1980 Grand Island tornado outbreak affected the city of
Grand Island, Nebraskaon June 3, 1980. Seven tornadoes touched down in or near the city that night, killing 5 and injuring 200. This outbreak is also known as "The Night of the Twisters". This name is more associated with this event, as it was semi-fictionalized by the book of the same name by author Ivy Ruckmanand inspired a 1996 made-for-TV movie seen on ABC Family.
; and the tornadoes did not move in a straight line, with most looping back over their own path at least once.
Five people were killed by the tornadoes, 200 more injured, and damages were estimated at more than $285 million (USD) ($600 million 2003 USD).
Tornado warnings allowed people to get to safety in time, which prevented a higher death toll. The South Locust Street area was hardest hit, struck by the fifth tornado of the night (an F4 tornado). Much of the rubble and debris left by the tornadoes was placed in a landfill that now forms Tornado Hill, a popular biking and sledding spot.
Fictionalized accounts of the event
, a native of Nebraska, was released. The book told the story of Danny Hatch, a pre-teen and his family, and what happened to them as the event took place.
A made-for-cable television original movie premiered in 1996 for The Family Channel (now
ABC Family). The movie version still centered on the Hatch Family and most of the characters in the book were adapted to the film. However, there were several discrepancies from the movie and the book version. The most notable being the town in the movie is changed from Grand Island to Blainsworth, which Ivy Ruckman reportedly was disappointed about as it took some of the reality out of the actual event. Danny's father's name is changed to Jack in the film (played by John Schneider) and is mentioned to be his stepfather as Danny's real father is revealed to have died in a plane crash when Danny was six years old. One somewhat prominent character in the movie was Bob Iverson (played by David Ferry), who was not included in the book.
Danny's mother occupation is also changed to waitress. The last scene in the film in which the Hatch family tries to outrun a tornado in a car lent to them at a shelter was added specifically for the film and was not in the book, either. Danny and his friend Arthur's (played by
Devon Sawaand Amos Crawley) ages are also sped up to their mid-teens (though their ages are never mentioned in the film).
List of North American tornadoes and tornado outbreaks
* [http://www.crh.noaa.gov/gid/Web_Stories/1980/weather/06-03/index.php The Grand Island Tornadoes - NWS]
* [http://www.gitwisters.com/ GITwisters.com - special of the "Grand Island Independent"]
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