Tornado that hit the southeast side of Chicago near 87th and Cottage Grove in the 70s or 80s


Dear Tom,

My father always talks about a tornado that hit the southeast side of Chicago near 87th and Cottage Grove in the 70s or 80s. Can you provide any details? 


Joy Jackson      

Dear Joy,

The storm that your father recalls was the infamous Oak Lawn tornado, this area’s deadliest tornado that claimed 33 lives, late on Friday afternoon April 21, 1967. The F-4 twister demolished almost everything along its 16-mile path from Palos Hills through Oak Lawn, Hometown, Evergreen Park and Chicago’s south side.  The storm crossed the Dan Ryan Expressway during rush hour before traveling a mile out over Lake Michigan near 78thstreet, where it finally dissipated. In your father’s area, the twister crossed Wabash at 83rd Street and moved across Cottage Grove in the 8200 block. This storm totally dispelled the myth that Chicago was somehow protected from tornadoes.


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