43 years ago today! Just let number sink in! That’s a very long time.

This day won’t be forgotten by many people who live in the Illinois counties of DuPage and Cook County during 1976 summer.

It had started as a normal day on the 13th June in the Chicago Metro area. Suffice to safe the region had been experiencing a very warm period with a high of ninety four degrees recorded the previous day.

With afternoon temperatures lingering in the lower to middle eighty’s, little would be known in a few minutes after 5:00pm, bedlam was about ensue/strike southern DuPage and southwestern Cook Counties.

A significant Tornado formed across the Lemont, Illinois area at approxminetly 5:18pm, just north of the downtown area. From that point onwards, the Tornado began taking a rather unpredictable track…

…First heading southeast through the eastern sections of the town.

The Tornado grew significantly causing extensive damage at the Hillcrest subdivision of the area. The Tornado then headed in a northerly direction, then northwest where it took the roof off an Argonne National Laboratory reactor.

Moving on, the Tornado then crossed I-55555 where it caused more damage before it finally dissipated.

In the wake of the Tornado, two people died and twenty three people were injured. The track of the Tornado was eight miles long – width of up to eight hundred yards. That’s massive!

Source credit: National Weather Service

Total damage costs approached thirteen million dollars. After all the damage was surveyed, the final rating of the Tornado was an F4/EF-4.

You can read more on the event here and here.

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