What were the lessons we learned from the Oak Lawn Tornado of 1967?
Severe weather forecasting techniques, warnings, and storm detection have grown by leaps and bound since 1967, but in spite of the era’s limitations, the deadly F4 twister, that killed 33 and injured 500 was preceded by a tornado watch and warnings were issued. The storm, undoubtedly increased public awareness that tornadoes do strike in highly populated areas and that Lake Michigan does not prevent tornadoes as the storm passed through Oak Lawn as swept the southwest part of Chicago all the way to the lakefront near 78th Street where winds were clocked at 100 mph. The Oak Lawn tornado was the second twister to hit Chicago’s South Side in six years. On March 4, 1961 an F2 storm killed one and injured 115 as it moved from 91st and Hoyne to the lakefront.