Primrose, NE Tornado, May 1965

Primrose NEB Main Street 1988.jpg Primrose NEB Tornado damage 1965.jpg


Primrose, Neb. (AP) -- Tornadoes swarmed across central Nebraska late Saturday, dipping down to smash countless farms and finally to all but wipe out this central Nebraska village and kill at least three of its residents.
Fireman Dick Spiegel of nearby Albion watched the tornado as it approached Primrose.
"She was a big one -- two funnels formed into one,"
he said.
Fires followed the roaring sweep of the funnel through the village. The state patrol reported Saturday night that they had finally been extinguished.
Col. Dan Casey, the patrol chief, said townspeople were assembled at the school house, which remained standing, and were being counted "to see who is missing." The village has 129 persons.
Gov. Frank Morrison ordered national guardsmen to Primrose.
Albion newspaper editor Jack Lough reported half to three-quarters of the town destroyed.
Lough said the dead were MRS. LORRELL OLSON, in her 60s; her son, WAYNE, 36, of Omaha, and MRS. MYRTLE BARRY, in her 70s.
All the members of another family of nine were injured, Lough said.
There was no accounting of other injured.
Mr. and Mrs. Leo Reicks said the and several others took refuge in the vault of a bank building which now is used as a tavern. The building was one of those which remained standing.
The town fire house was demolished and the fire truck flipped onto its back.
The weather bureau had warned at mid-day of the possibility of tornadoes in a belt through central Nebraska and toward the end of the afternoon reports of twisters began to come in.
The first came from Hebron near the Kansas border but others followed from across the state near the South Dakota line, and then from an area north of Grand Island.
There was no way of counting how many twisters were sighted.
Shortly after 9 p.m., five hours after the first reported tornado a new rash of tornadoes was reported in northeastern Nebraska with 18 farms destroyed.
In all the number of heavily damaged farms probably ran into the hundreds, but there was no immediate count.
Because of the warnings, most rural residents sought the shelter of storm cellars and caves and there were no reports of injuries to farmers or their families.
The damage was sufficient in northern Nebraska, near Ainsworth, so that National Guardsmen were called out there.
Primrose, the prime target of the storms, is about 100 miles west of Omaha.

Cedar Rapids Gazette Iowa 1965-05-09


Rest in peace Sarah <3

I will never know how my grandma felt on that night, and I will not meet you until the afterlife but one thing is for sure you sure were pretty <3 (with much love your great nephew)

The McBride Family is mom's side (Sarah, would be my Great Aunt)

Yes, Sarah did died in the Grand Island Hospital. The died from a flying piece of wood, and was hit in the abdomen whilst they were hiding under their oak table.

I remember this tornado

I remember this tornado tragedy as well, I was 10 yrs old at the time and this ugly tornado missed my home within a half-mile. I remember going to our cave, my mother was expecting my youhgest brother at the time. he was born a few days after. I also had just become friends with Sarah McBride a few months prior to this time. And I just hardly remember attending her funeral. It was sad.

The family of nine mentioned

The family of nine mentioned in the article was the McBride family. Sarah died of her injuries the next day. The article may have been written shortly before her death.

Agreed, Sarah died from a

Agreed, Sarah died from a 2x4 striking her in chest as I recall. My maternal grandmother was a McBride, we were not so distant relatives to Butch. I was 16 at the time and remember it well, it also wiped out two of our neighbors.


As a relative of Sarah, I noted her conspicuous absence.

One person was left out of

One person was left out of this article that was killed. Sarah McBride, 9 year old daughter of Butch and Elizabeth McBride also died from injuries resulting from this tornado. I was not there but know the family.

Primrose Tornado

I remember very well the aftermath of this tornado. My father drove the family over from Spalding and I remember the destruction of the whole town, people moving belongings out of their homes. The population decreased by about half following the tornado and has never gone up again. It was a great tragedy for that town and for the whole area.