Moville, IA Tornado, June 1973


Moville, Ia. (UPI) -- Gov. Robert D. Ray, touring two trailer courts that were nearly demolished hours earlier by a killer tornado, said Monday it was remarkable that more people were not killed.
Two pesons died and 11 were injured, six requiring hospitalization, when the tornado swept into the small northwest Iowa community of Moville shortly before 5 a.m. Monday without warning. A massive cleanup operation involving Iowa National Guardsmen, the Red Cross, State Civil Defense workers and Woodbury County rescue units was launched almost immediately, and by late Monday afternoon the governor reported that "everything is pretty well under control."
"It's really hard to believe. It looked like the tornado just sat right down on the trailer court," said Ray, who toured the area with Acting State Civil Defense Director Donald Hinman.
"It's tragic when you lose two lives, but it's surprising that we didn't lose more lives. Everyone was at home in their trailers at the time it hit, and it just tore those trailers and splintered them apart like match sticks."
The governor said 14 of the 15 trailers in one court were demolished and eight to 10 mobile homes in the second area were "extensively damaged." Damage to the community was confined mainly to the two trailer courts, Ray said, although the rest of the city lost power and telephone service and a number of trees were downed by the force of the storm.
The governor, who spent about 1 1/2 hours touring Moville and conferring with community leaders, said the Iowa National Guardsmen and guard equipment he authorized earlier will remain in the area as long as needed.
It was the first time since May, 1968, when a tornado struck the Oelwein-Charles City area that any lives have been lost in an Iowa tornado. Ray said overall damage to the community was not as extensive as the 1968 tornado, but the house trailers were damaged as badly as any disaster he has observed.
Killed in the storm were JEANETTE FULTON, 73, and EFFIE HIRSHBAUM, believed to be in her 30s.
Numerous twisters touched down around other parts of Iowa Monday morning but there were no reports of serious damage. Funnel clouds were sighted near Martinsdale, Wellsburg, Grundy Center, Reinbeck and near Hudson.

Ames Daily Tribune Iowa 1973-06-19


Fulton Family

As a child years before this tornado I remember being on the Fulton acreage just outside town. When a tornado alert siren sounded in town, Grandma Jeanette would rush all the grandchildren into her "potato cave" to ensure our safety. The morning of the tornado my parents got a call and rushed away to Moville. I was 13 my sister was 10. We knew something bad had happened but we were left at home. I'll never forget hearing the news on the radio that Grandma was gone. She was an awesome lady. I'll never forget her.

1973 Tornado in Moville, Iowa

Hi! I just found this page and I am so excited about it! Jeanette Fulton, one of the women who died in this tornado, was my Great-Grandmother. Would you be willing to share the photos you have? I've always known she died in the tornado, but have had a REALLY hard time learning anything about it.
I'm really looking forward to hearing from you.
Brenda Miller, Montana

1973 Tornado

I do have the newspaper pictures from the damage to mobile home park. Mobile home park was adjacent to our property.