Vince and Nancy Godon are married and live in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Kelly Kramlich lives in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Each author earned a bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science from the University of North Dakota, where Nancy also earned a master’s degree in geography. All three once worked together at the National Weather Service office in Grand Forks.
Why did you write this book?
The myth that tornadoes don’t hit a fork in the river has been perpetuated locally. In researching tornadoes of the area, we came across a picture of UND from the 1880s that could have been tornado damage. This sparked our interest in researching what actually happened that day to produce the damage found in the photograph. From this research, we learned a lot about the local development and history of the area, and felt that this was an important story that needed to be told. On a side note, we were surprised to learn that there was no record of the tornado in modern meteorological documentation. In effect, it was lost in history. So we want to make sure this important event is properly documented for the future.
How is your book different than others out in the market?
Our book not only details the surrounding weather events and tornado, but also digs into the history and important people who helped build Grand Forks and East Grand Forks. It dispels the myth that tornadoes can’t occur near forks in the river, and it provides an interesting story that weaves together the regional development and rivalries of the time. Since the tornado was also forgotten in history, this is the first book which discusses the event in depth.
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