Deadliest Tornadoes in USA History

The Killing Wind – The F5 Tornado in Flint Michigan

The Killing Wind takes you back to 1953, before weather sirens, doppler radar, and tornado warnings. On that fateful night in June of 1953, an incomprehensible F5 tornado, the most powerful of its kind in the world, descended during the dinner hour on a main east/west road in the northern section of Flint, Michigan. Go back and hear the story of one Buick nurse as she struggles to comprehend the total destruction of homes, schools, and — lives.

Today, the tornado ranks as the ninth deadliest of all time, and the deadliest of the last 50 years.

When you see the destruction of the vehicles, remind yourself those are 1940’s and 1950’s Buicks, which were several thousands of pounds of solid steel, iron, and metal not like the flimsy plastic cars of today.


Reuters reported on May 23, 2011:

 A powerful tornado scored a direct hit on the southwest Missouri town of Joplin, killing at least 89 people with many more missing and injured, authorities said on Monday.

The Joplin tornado is the deadliest single twister since Worcester, Massachusetts in June 1953.

Here is a list of the deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history:

1. Mar 18, 1925 Missouri/Illinois/Indiana; 695 dead

2. May 6, 1840 Natchez, Mississippi; 317 dead

3. May 27, 1896 St. Louis, Missouri; 255 dead

4. April 5, 1936 Tupelo, Mississippi; 216 dead

5. April 6, 1936 Gainesville, Georgia; 203 dead

6. April 9, 1947 Woodward, Oklahoma; 181 dead

7. April 24,1908 Amite, La./Purvis, Miss.; 143 dead

8. June 12, 1899 New Richmond, Wisconsin; 117 dead

9. June 3, 1953 Flint, Michigan; 115 dead

10. May 11, 1953 Waco, Texas; 114 dead

10. May 18, 1902 Goliad, Texas; 114 dead

12. March 23, 1913 Omaha, Nebraska; 103 dead

13. May 26, 1917 Mattoon, Illinois; 101 dead

14. June 23, 1944 Shinnston, West Virginia; 100 dead

15. April 18, 1880 Marshfield, Missouri; 99 dead

16. June 1, 1903 Gainesville/Holland, Georgia; 98 dead

16. May 9, 1927 Poplar Bluff, Missouri; 98 dead

18. May 10, 1905 Snyder, Oklahoma; 97 dead

19. April 24, 1908 Natchez, Mississippi; 91 dead

20. June 9, 1953 Worcester, Massachusetts; 90 dead

21. May 22, 2011 Joplin, Missouri; 89 dead

NOTE: The death toll is expected to rise in Joplin as the search for missing people continues. Also, the figures do not include the series of tornadoes in the Southeast including Alabama in April 2011 which killed at least 345 people in seven states. Of those, 238 deaths were in Alabama, 41 of which were in Tuscaloosa County.

SOURCE: Storm Prediction Center of National Weather Service’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “25 deadliest tornadoes.”

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