1980 : Tornado Strikes Kalamazoo’s Downtown

May 13, 2022 all-day

On May 13, 1980, a tornado barreled through Kalamazoo’s downtown, killing five, injuring 79 and causing an estimated $50 million in damage.

It first touched down at 4 p.m. about eight miles from the city. For nearly a half hour, the tornado whirled east, into the heart of Kalamazoo, and left a swath of destruction 12 miles long, according to news reports at the time.

Homes in the Westside neighborhood were destroyed. Monuments in Mountain Home Cemetery were overturned. The twister knocked down 26 century-old oak trees in Bronson Park, including one that had shaded Abraham Lincoln when he made his only speech in Michigan.

Source: Michigan Every Day

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