CHICAGO (CBS) — It was 50 years ago today, massive EF-4 tornados tore though the southwest and northwest suburbs, killing 58 people.
The deadliest storm formed in Palos Hills in Cook County and traveled through Oak Lawn and the South Side of Chicago.
A total of 33 people died, and 500 people were injured by this 200-yard-wide funnel that traveled 16 miles and caused over $50 million in damage.
Oak Lawn Library is hosting Friday a special exhibit on the tornado, where CBS 2’s Lauren Victory reports.
The “Voices in Wind” displace is more than a year in the making. Organizers welcomed Friday more than 200 residents who remember this day, 50 years ago like it just happened.
At the Egan house, 10 out of 11 siblings are survivors. Eileen was the only one not born when the 1967 Oak Lawn tornado hit, but she is surrounded with stories of the devastating storm that injured hundreds and killed 33 people.
“It was like a train noise. Boom, boom, boom, boom.”
Mother, 88-year-old Patricia Egan remembers it well.
“We came upstairs and it was unbelievable,” Egan said. “Across the street was the rectory for St. Gerald’s. It was all the way down to the first floor. Everything was gone.”
Memories from several other tornado witnesses are now in a 50th Anniversary exhibit at Oak Lawn’s library. Organizers of the library exhibit said they are always looking for new material. They welcome tornado pictures, audio recording and even debris.
Another EF-4 storm cut a 28 mile path from Cherry Valley, to Belvidere and Woodstock that same day.
A total of 25 people were killed and 500 injured.
Thirteen were killed and 300 injured as 12 buses were tossed around Belvidere High School at dismissal time.
A third EF-4 twister struck Fox River Grove, North Barrington, and Lake Zurich that day, killing one person.
The Lake Zurich Manor subdivision was hardest hit, with about 75 homes destroyed and another 200 severely damaged. Seth Paine School was destroyed.