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The Power of EF5 Tornadoes Felt in Charles City, Oelwein 54 Years Ago

Last Sunday (05.15) marked the 54th anniversary of the infamous EF5 tornado that devastated Charles City on May 15th, 1968, plus a separate EF5 that struck Oelwein the same day.

Meteorologist Chris Nelson of St. Ansgar says EF5 twisters are defined by winds in excess of 200 miles per hour and by what they “eat.” 

Nelson adds that the power of Charles City’s EF5 that day was evident some 200 miles away.

In addition to the property destruction on May 15, 1968, the EF5 tornado that hit the Oelwein area claimed five lives, while 13 people perished in the Charles City twister. All 13 are now memorialized on a plaque that was dedicated last May at the flag memorial in Central Park.


Mark Pitz

News Director/Weekdays 10am to 2pm on 95.9 KCHA
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