Historic Omaha tornado remembered 46 years after inflicting damage, death

OMAHA, Neb. – Nebraska was greeted with early anniversary mementos Wednesday, just a day before the 46th anniversary of the 1975 Omaha tornado.

A day after the state saw multiple tornado touchdowns, folks in Omaha remember the intense weather event that killed three people, injured more than 130 others and inflicted $250-$300 million worth of damage – or nearly $1.4 billion in today’s money. It all took place in roughly half an hour in Omaha, though it was part of a greater weather system that wreaked havoc across two days in six Midwestern states.

The damage in Omaha could have actually been even worse. The tornado that killed nearly 100 people in Omaha in 1913 was no stronger than the 1975 storm (both were rated F4 on the Fujita scale), but thanks to advances in meteorology, civil defense, modern building codes and general communication methods, the death toll was far less severe.