Worst tornado in U.S. history travelled over 350 km, killing 695 people
This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.
On Wednesday, March 18, 1925, three states in the U.S. were hit with the largest tornado ever. Not just in the states, largest on Earth. The Tri-State Tornado, as it's called, lasted three and a half hours, travelled 352 km and spent a significant time moving at 117 km/h.
This is the states' deadliest tornado, killing 695 people.
Courtesy of NOAA
The tornado was first spotted in Moore Township in Shannon County, Mo., at about 1 p.m. In Missouri, the tornado killed 12 people and injured at least 200. Thirty-two children were injured when the tornado hit two schools. The cyclone picked up and carried sheets of iron across the state for about 80 km.
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The tornado travelled across the Mississippi River into Illinois. It reached the town of Gorham at 2:30 p.m., essentially destroying it. Thirty-six people in Gorham died. The tornado killed a significant portion of the Karnes family, including Karnes' wife, daughter, son-in-law, and seven grandchildren. The relentless tornado destroyed Illinois, killing at least 500 people.
"Ruins of the Longfellow School, Murphysboro, Ill., where 17 children were killed. The storm hit the school at about 2:30 p.m. local time." Courtesy of Wikipedia
The tornado then garnered tri-state status as it crossed the Wabash River into Indiana. The tornado first flattened the town of Griffin, killing 46 people and injuring 197. It then headed to the large factory town of Princeton, killing 44 people and injuring 146. It demolished most of the town, including a Heinz factory.
"Ruins of the town of Griffin, Ind., where 44 people were killed." Courtesy of Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0
The tornado finally dissipated at about 4:38 p.m. around 4 km south-southeast of Petersburg, Ind.
To learn more about the Tri-State Tornado, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."
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Thumbnail: "Ruins of the Longfellow School, Murphysboro, Illinois, where 17 children were killed. The storm hit the school at about 2:30 PM local time." Courtesy of Wikipedia