Manchester residents commemorate tornado anniversary

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


The massive F-4 tornado that destroyed the little town of Manchester 10 years ago on June 24, 2003 also made scientific history.


An article about the tornado in National Geographic magazine noted that as the center of the tornado approached, the air pressure dropped 100 millibars in 12 seconds.


“That’s the biggest drop ever recorded,” said tornado researcher Tim Samaras. “Like stepping into an elevator and hurtling up 4,000 feet in 10 seconds.” Samaras lost his life in 2013 while researching a tornado in Oklahoma.


“The sky virtually fell on Manchester,” reads the inscription on a monument at the former site of the town. “Winds of more than 200 miles per hour … swept north toward the township line … Nearly everything was mangled, shredded and vacuumed into the sky.”


The town had a population of six people at the time of the tornado, three of whom were injured during the storm. Today, all that remains of the community is a lonely town-pump and a stone monument constructed after the storm by resident farmer and master stonemason, the late Harold Yost.


David Tritle


The De Smet News

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