A Terrifying, Deadly Storm Struck Wisconsin In 1984… And No One Saw It Coming

Wisconsin is no stranger to tornadoes, but no one ever thinks that a storm is going to be as devastating as the Barneveld tornadoes of 1984 were. This was not just one tornado; it was 46 tornadoes. The storm lasted two days (June 7-8), going from North Dakota to Kansas. There were 13 deaths and 322 injuries. It ended up producing an F5 tornado. The path length was 36 miles. But for all the damage it did, the town of Barneveld, Wisconsin got the worst of it. It accounted for 9 of the fatalities. The town sustained $40 million in damage.


The tornado watch was issued around 11 PM. At this point, most people were asleep and unaware that there was a tornado watch. Many residents woke up a little before the tornado touched down due to the deafening tone of the thunder clap. The F5 tornado touched down near Mineral Point. At its widest, it was about a quarter mile wide.


This is a pretty good recap of the tornado from a 25th anniversary news story about Barneveld. You really have to see these shots to believe it.

Do you remember these terrible tornadoes? What other details can you add to the story? Tell us about your memories in the comments.