Hudsonville, Standale, MI Tornadoes, Apr 1956

Standale Tornado, photo from Noaa. Standale Aftermath, photo from Noaa.

18 DIE IN MICHIGAN TORNADOES.

HUDSONVILLE HARDEST HIT; OVER 200 INJURED.

Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP) -- Vicious spring tornadoes tore across western Michigan last night leaving a vast trail of death and destruction.
Rescue workers recovered 18 bodies. It was feared there were others in the debris of demolished homes and stores.
More than 200 were injured and property damage ran into millions of dollars. Some 2,000 people were left homeless.
Hardest hit was the town of Hudsonville, a community of 1,300 ten miles southwest of Grand Rapids. Scores of homes were demolished and at least 12 persons killed.
Three bodies were found in a devastated trailer camp on Grand Rapids' northwest outskirts. A farm woman was killed when another tornado battered the Traverse City area, 100 miles north.
Nearly 1,000 National Guardsmen were mobilized to assist in rescue operations.
Firemen, state and local police and civil defense workers labored through the night, probing through wreckage in a search for the injured and dead. Others stood guard to prevent looting.
Communication and power facilities were knocked out, isolating several communities and leaving them in total darkness.
Hospitals in Grand Rapids and nearby Zeeland and Holland were jammed to capacity and all available medical help was summoned.
It was Michigan's worst tornado since the disastrous June 8, 1953, twister that killed 130 in Flint.
The storm literally wiped out the business district of Standale, eight miles west of here. Fifteen buildings lining State Highway 50, all less than 10 years old, were leveled within seconds.
Shoppers saw the twister coming about five minutes before it struck. They scurried into basements and huddled against walls until the storm was over. Many were injured.
DONALD HATCH, owner of a drugstore, said he saw the black funnel bearing down and shouted to clerks and customers to "hit the floor."
"Everybody did," he said. "And then the tornado came with a roar that sounded like an express train. When it was all over there was only one wall left standing."

PERSONS KILLED BY TORNADOES.
Grand Rapids, Mich., (UP) -- The following persons were identified as killed in Western Michigan tornadoes Tuesday night:
At Hudsonville:
WILLIAM OOSTENDORP and his son, STEVE, 17 months old.
MRS. WILLIAM VAN DYKE.
MRS. LOUISE BROWER, 43.
JERRY BERGHORST, 15.
BERT MORSINK, 70.
GREG ENSING, 3.
DeWAYN LEEGSTRA.
The child of STEWART D. WINDT.
MRS. EDWARD DeKLEIN and her daughter, YVONNE, 3.
MRS. JENNIE MIEDEMA.
One Unidentified.
At Standale:
MRS. ANNA HART, 89.
ALFRED E. PAYNE, 45.
MRS. AGNES YKEMA, about 40.
MRS. ADOLPH PEPLAU.
At Thompsonville.
MRS. HUGH PARKS, 55.

Sheboygan Journal Wisconsin 1956-04-04

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The April 1956 tornado outbreak was a large, deadly tornado outbreak that affected the Great Plains, parts of the South, and the upper Midwest in the contiguous United States. Occurring from April 2–3, 1956, produced 49 tornadoes, including an F5 tornado that devastated the Hudsonville and Standale areas in the U.S. state of Michigan on April 3. It was one of three tornadoes to move across southwest Lower Michigan on that day. A fourth tornado struck north of the Manistee area. The Hudsonville-Standale tornado killed 18 and injured 340. - April 1956 Tornado Outbreak
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hudsonville-Standale_Tornado_of_April_1956

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Tornadoes in Southwest Lower Michigan on April 3, 1956
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/grr/science/19560403/tornados/

Hudsonville Standale Tornado Videos on youtube.com
https://www.youtube.com/user/EO1816