Latrobe, PA F3 Tornado – July 11, 1976

SPC Stats:

Path length: 11.8 miles

Width:  67 yards

Fatalities:  1

Injuries:  17

Rating:  F3

County:  Westmoreland

An F3 tornado hit portions of Westmoreland County, PA on July 11, 1976.  

Per Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes:  The tornado traveled 13 miles from near Delmont to Salem and Unit Townships, near the Latrobe-area hospital to Clover Hill, Oakville, and Darlington.  Twelve trailers and 37 houses were destroyed.  16 cars and a school were damaged.  Five furniture company buildings were unroofed and the contents destroyed.  

There was 1 fatality.  A man died a few days after the twister hit his trailer home.

Wed, Jul 14, 1976 – Page 5 · Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.com

Storm Data Entry (this was a late entry found in the December 1976 Publication)

Tornado first touched down at 445pm east of Crabtree near Delmont, through Salem and Unity Townships, lifted, then touched down again near Latrobe Area Hospital, where it tore a house off its foundation and set it back down again.  It travelled on Clover Hill and Oakville area where 37 homes and 12 mobile homes were destroyed, 15 homes partially damaged, 1 elementary school damaged and 16 automobiles severely damaged.  Here it changed course, heading east toward Rte. 30 where a furniture company warehouse had 5 buildings unroofed and their contents destroyed.  It finally ripped through Darlington, where substantial damage was done to a farm house, several outbuildings (one of which contained an automobile) and nearly all trees surrounding the property.

A man died Tuesday, July 13th, from injuries received when his mobile home was blown off its foundation.  Flat bed of the trailer found approximately 200 feet away, smashed into the side of a house; remainder of the trailer totally demolished.  Of the 17 injuries, 2 were serious and 5 more were hospitalized in fair condition.

Tornado Path

Discrepancies:

We gathered information for this event from the SPC & NCDC Databases, the December 1976 Storm Data Narrative and Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes and found the following differences:

Path Length:

  • SPC/NCDC have an 11.8 mile path length.
  • Storm Data lists a 6 mile path.
  • Grazulis has a 13 mile path length.

Width:

  • SPC/NCDC list a width of 67 yards.
  • Grazulis and Storm Data have a width of 70 yards.

Sources:

The Storm Prediction Center

NCDC Storm Events Database

December 1976 Storm Data Publication

newspapers.com

Grazulis, Thomas P. (1993). Significant Tornadoes 1680-1991: A Chronology and Analysis of Events. St. Johnsbury, VT: The Tornado Project of Environmental Films. Page 1189.