Fargo, ND Tornado, Jun 1957

The Fargo Tornado

The other three dead, all adults, have not yet been identified.

LEONARD HILDEBRAND, Detroit Lakes, Minn., truck driver, was approaching Fargo from the north when he sighted the twister.

"I stopped my truck and watched," he said. "That awful black cloud came onto the city slowly - about five miles an hour - but steadily."

"At first there were just clouds of dust. Then the base of the funnel began to flash and sparkle as it whipped up boards and metal."

OLSON, the police chief, said the slow pace of the tornado, plus radio warnings of its approach, saved a possibly greater casualty toll.

After lashing Fargo, the storm dumped debris in the northeast section of Moorhead, Minn., immediately to the east across the Red River. There were no casualties nor reports of damage.

The Sacred Heart Convent was badly damaged but none of the nuns was reported badly hurt.

Many more buildings suffered damage outside the immediate storm area, including buildings on the North Dakota Agricultural College campus.

Some 500 youths attending a convention of the Future Farmers of America, were reported to have escaped injury.

The Red Cross set up feeding stations in a junior high school this morning. Buses brought the homeless and hungry from the disaster area.

Midwestern headquarters of the Red Cross in St. Louis dispatched two national disaster field workers, Duke Hendrickson and Larry Neville to Fargo and a Red Cross nurse, Elizabeth Sutcliffe, to determine that all medical and nursing needs were being filled.

"We're on top of it all the way," said Police Chief OLSON. Emergency units were on the scene within minutes after the tornado passed, he said. The chief estimated that at least 500 persons volunteered their services during the first hour. Ambulances and other emergency vehicles from Wahpeton and Casselton, N. D. and Moorhead, Fergus Falls and Breckenridge converged on the disaster area.

The funnel also touched down in Moorhead, across the Red River from Fargo, destroying the Moorhead Rod and Gun Club.

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