April 14 – 1886 Tornado Outbreak

On April 14, 1886, a widespread and deadly tornado outbreak ripped Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Texas.  At least 19 tornadoes touched down and ripped across Iowa. Several of these tornadoes were said to produce significant damage including one that produced F4 damage, killing 3 people and injuring 18 others. This F4 tornado traveled from near Griswold, Iowa (Cass County) through Audubon and Guthrie Counties destroying most of Coon Rapids, Iowa before dissipating near Churdan, Iowa. Another tornado produced F3 damage in Taylor and Adams counties injuring at least 15 people. Further north in Minnesota, several significant tornadoes developed and probably the most notable tornado of the day was estimated to be a F4 that tore up the cities of Sauk Rapids, Saint Cloud, and Rice, Minnesota. This F4 tornado killed 72 people and injured more than 200 and caused over $400,000 in damages. In 2015 dollars, that would be roughly $10.4 million dollars. This has been Minnesota’s deadliest tornado to date.

DSMObserver-April14-1886

The record book from the Des Moines Observer on April 14, 1886 mentions there was a tornado reported in the western part of the state.

Sauk Rapids, MN after the devastating F4 tornado on April 14, 1886. Image courtesy Wikipedia.

Sauk Rapids, MN after the devastating F4 tornado on April 14, 1886.

Sauk Rapids, MN after the devastating F4 tornado on April 14, 1886. Image courtesy Wikipedia.

Sauk Rapids, MN after the devastating F4 tornado on April 14, 1886.

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