Hebron, NE Tornado, May 1953

Hebron NEB 1953 tornado overview.jpg

A tornado hit Hebron, a community of 2,000 in Southeastern Nebraska, Saturday night. Observers said it was a "miracle" that no one was killed as the storm wrecked two-thirds of the town's buildings. Sixty-nine persons were injured, at least 18 of them seriously.

Hebron was still without gas and had only emergency electric power last night. Bulldozers pushed their way through debris-piled streets to make one-way paths for trucks used in clearing the wreckage.

Mayor RALPH HAWKINS estimated damage at "at least a million and a half dollars."

"You drive over town and it's just terrible," said A. E. STAUFFER, Deshler newspaper man. "There were cars smashed so flat you couldn't see in them with flashlights."

At least five persons were injured and several farms were damaged late yesterday when a tornado cut a path 35 miles long through Cerro Gordo and Worth Counties in North-Central Iowa.

Austin Daily Herald Minnesota 1953-05-11


Hebron Tornado May 9, 1953

I remember the tornado well. It was my 5th birthday that day and my Dad took my younger brother and me to a late movie downtown. The tornado struck while we were in the theater and we all hit the floor. I recall my Dad covering my brother and me. We were then ushered into the basement, where we all waited anxiously. Someone suddenly said they smelled gas, so we were all taken back upstairs. By that time, the tornado had passed on. We couldn't find our car which Dad had parked across the street from the theater, so we started walking home. I recall the darkness, the debris all over the ground, broken branches everywhere, and fallen wires. A car came by and pulled over when they saw a man walking with two small children. They recognized my Dad as one of the High School teachers. They kindly gave us a ride home. My Mother had stayed home with my 2 little sisters. My grandfather drove to Hebron from Nebraska City and took my Mom and us back to Nebraska City with him. My Dad stayed on to finish out the school year and then joined us. I never saw Hebron again. We've been living in California since 1964. P.S Our car was found a few days later in a park south of the theater. It was completely totalled.

Tornado in Hebron, Nebraska 1953

I lived in Hebron during this storm. All of my remembrances of this storm still I can feel to this day. There were some old pictures of a Catholic Church with only the cross of Jesus standing, all of the rest of the church were gone. I went to school near that church. Are there any of these pictures left? Another one I remember of a pane of glass with a blade of straw through it. Funny, after all of these years I can remember these small things.
Regards to all of you.

Hebron tornado

According to my copy of the May 20th, 1953 Hebron Journal Register four people died from injuries of the tornado on May 9th, 1953.