A peaceful Nebraska town on a hot summer day becomes the setting for a disaster when it is struck by a deadly series of strong tornados. The story is told from the viewpoint of a 12-year-old boy who is forced to overcome his own terror to find his friends and family in the horrifying aftermath.
NameDan HatchArthur DarlingtonStacy Darlington Years old11 years old 14 years old Survived or notSurvived
This story was in Grand Island, Nebraska. On June 4, 1980, Grand Island was hit by a massive super cell storm. Through the course of the evening, the city was ravaged by seven tornados, the worst of which was rated F4 on the Fujita Scale. The hardest hit area of town was the South Locust business district. There were five deaths as a result of the tornadoes.
Ivy Ruckman is the award-winning author of fourteen books, including Night of the Twisters. She is a former English teacher and creative writing instructor, and has written several short stories for young readers. Mrs. Ruckman lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.
A tornado is a violent, rotating column of air that contacts the surface of the earth. Tornados are associated with electrical storms. The first eyewitness account is descriptive of obvious electrical activity inside a funnel. The second bit of testimony is even more interesting since it describes long vertical light columns (like "neon tubes) associated with tornado funnels. The tubes tie in with occasional observations of aurora-like columns above distant thunderstorms.
1st Arthur comes over. Tornado comes and destroys the neighborhood. 2nd They find Dan’s mom and save Mrs. Smiley. They get hit by the tornado and had to drive officer Kelly to the police station. 3rd They find Arthur and Stacy’s parents. Dan finds his parents and move to the farm.
Five people were killed by the tornadoes, 200 more injured, and damages were estimated at more than $285 million (USD) ($600 million 2003 USD). Tornado warnings allowed people to get to safety in time, which prevented a higher death toll. The South Locust Street area was hardest hit, struck by the fifth tornado of the night (an F4 tornado). Much of the rubble and debris left by the tornadoes was placed in a landfill that now forms Tornado Hill, a popular biking and sledding spot.
Following is the Fujita Scale rating the intensity of tornadoes. It was developed by the late Dr. Ted Fujita, "Mr. Tornado," with the help of Allen Pearson, former director of the National Severe Storm Forecast Center in Norman, Oklahoma. The seven tornadoes that struck Grand Island on June 4, 1980, were classified as one F4, two F3s, one F2 and three F1s.
I believe Night of the Twisters is one of the very best books I have ever read. I would give it five stars and two thumbs up, but this is just my opinion. This is a very good book and I suggest everyone should read it.