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This town is defined by the F4 tornado that crushed a third of its buildings

Thursday, January 7th 2021, 6:00 am - On January 7, 1989, an F4 tornado destroyed a third of the town of Allendale, Illinois.

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Allendale is a village in Wabash County, Illinois. If you look at the village's Wikipedia page, the history first lists that Allendale was established in 1869, adding that it received its name from Colonel C. M. Allen, a railroad official, and then the January 7, 1989, F4 tornado.

The tornado developed about 6.5 kilometres southwest of Allendale. It moved northeast through Allendale growing from an F2 to an F4 tornado. The tornado did go through other areas, but Allendale was most impacted.

At the time, Allendale had a population of about 600 people. The village had a post office, firehouse, school, and a few other businesses. There were also a few hundred homes. In total, the town had 275 buildings, about 35 per cent (96) of them were destroyed.

f4 - illinois tornado Courtesy of

Half of the village's only school was shredded. The grade school portion, which was built in the 1960s, was completely destroyed, the high school portion, which was built in the late 1920s, stayed intact. The only firehouse was also tattered beyond recognition.

Luckily, even though it's weird to write "luckily" in an article like this, there were no fatalities. A total of 55 people were injured, with varying levels of severity.

f4 ppl Courtesy of

According to the 2010 census, Allendale has about 475 residents. The village has a First National Bank, gas station, convenience store, post office, fire station, and Ruritan hall.

Listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History" to learn more about the F4 tornado that ripped through a small town in Illinois.

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by The Weather Network that features unique and informative stories from host Chris Mei.

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