New Findings On the Hallam Tornado

It's been about four months since the Hallam tornado. A UNL climatologist has done a study of the storm and has some interesting findings.

On May 22nd, UNL Climatologist Ken Dewey tracked the Hallam storm all day. He has also done extensive research in its aftermath, and has now drawn some ominous conclusions. Ken Dewey has done scores of interviews with tornado victims, made pages and pages of observations, and documented disks full of data. Among his findings – the path of the Hallam tornado was about 2 1/2-miles wide, making it the largest ever observed in the United States. He says it was headed for Lincoln, and then it split. Ken Dewey said, “The right part became the strongest tornado, the big one that went through Hallam, the left one was a short-lived tornado that went off to the left and died. Had it not split, that tornado that was 1/2-miles wide would've gone right up through the center of Lincoln.”

One life was lost in Hallam, but Dewey says if the tornado had hit Lincoln, it likely would have been much more deadly because many older houses in Hallam had basements or there were underground shelters to go to there. Dewey said, “The people in Hallam lost all their homes, their possessions, but they didn't lose their lives. In Lincoln, we stand at great risk because of the large number of people in highly, densely populated areas with no community shelter and no basements to go to have a very high casualty count.”

And Dewey also said some tornado victims told him since sirens didn't sound in Hallam, the warnings they got from Channel 8 back on May 22nd probably saved their lives.