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Footage of April 3, 1956 tornado destruction in Hudsonville, Michigan

Andrew Norton

April 3, 1956 tornadoes swept through west Michigan taking 17 lives and injuring 340. The 400 yard wide and 48 mile long path of destruction tore through west Michigan from Vriesland to Trufant. The National Weather Service rated the tornado an F5 - the highest rating for tornadoes. F5 Definition: Via National Weather Service Winds of 261-318 miles per hour. Incredible damage. Strong frame houses leveled off foundations and swept away; automobile-sized missiles fly through the air in excess of 100 meters (109 yds); trees debarked; incredible phenomena will occur.

Other tornadoes swept through west Michigan that early April day. Towns like Saugatuck, Holland, Bangor, and Alto were also struck by various tornadoes in the late afternoon and evening hours.

If the above player does not appear you can watch the video here.

Also, there is 8mm footage of the tornado as it ripped through Grand Rapids. You can view the footage here.