Colby, KS Tornado, Apr 1947

Twister Causes Heavy Damage In Colby Area

Colby, Kas., April 29--(AP)--Residents of this vicinity today were assessing the heavy damage caused late yesterday by a tornado which struck just east of here and moved northeastward along highway 24 for several miles.

Windows were broken and roofs and automobiles were damaged by huge hailstones driven by a strong wind which preceded the tornado.

No one was reported seriously hurt.

Telephone lines east of here were torn down, disrupting communications.

At Kansas City, W. A. Bastian, area strike director of the Southwestern Telephone Workers Union, immediately sent orders to have striking linemen report for work to restore telephone service.

The tornado first struck at a point near the east city limits and followed U. S. 24, causing property damage on either side of the highway.

Damage in Colby itself was caused principally by hail.

Other reports of damage came from the site of the new Colby radio station, the Kansas Nebraska Gas co. booster plant, and farm buildings.

No estimate was available immediately of the crop damage.

Atchison Daily Globe, Atchison, KS 29 Apr 1947


For anyone who is

For anyone who is interested, there were apparently some casualties from the Colby tornado of 1947. This storm was the basis of John Denver's song, "Matthew". According to an introduction from John to his song, he said the song was actually about his Uncle Dean who came to John's fathers house after the storm. As the lyrics recount, his Uncle Dean lost his farm and family in the tornado of 1947.