The worst tornado in US history traveled over 350 km and killed 695 people
This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by The Weather Network’s Chris Mei featuring stories about people, communities and events and how the weather has affected them.
On Wednesday, March 18, 1925, the largest tornado in history hit three states in the United States. Not only in the states, the largest in the world. The Tri-State Tornado, as it is known, lasted three and a half hours, traveled 352 km and spent a considerable amount of time traveling at 117 km/h.
This is the states deadliest tornado, killing 695 people.
Courtesy of NOAA
The tornado was first sighted around 1:00 p.m. in the township of Moore in Shannon County, Missouri. In Missouri, the tornado killed 12 people and injured at least 200. 32 children were injured when the tornado hit two schools. The cyclone picked up iron plates and carried them about 50 miles across the state.
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The tornado crossed the Mississippi River into Illinois. It reached the town of Gorham at 2:30 p.m., essentially destroying it. 36 people died in Gorham. The tornado killed a significant portion of the Karnes family, including Karnes’ wife, daughter, son-in-law, and seven grandchildren. The unrelenting tornado devastated Illinois, killing at least 500 people.
“Ruins of Longfellow School, Murphysboro, Illinois, where 17 children were killed. The storm hit the school around 2:30 p.m. local time.” Courtesy of Wikipedia
The tornado then earned tri-state status as it crossed the Wabash River into Indiana. The tornado first leveled the town of Griffin, killing 46 people and injuring 197. He then headed for the large manufacturing town of Princeton, killing 44 and injuring 146. It destroyed most of the city, including a Heinz factory.
“Ruins of the town of Griffin, Indiana, where 44 people were killed.” Courtesy of Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0
The tornado finally released at around 4:38 p.m. about 4 km south-southeast of Petersburg, Ind.
To learn more about the Tri-State Tornado, listen to tonight’s episode of This Day In Weather History.
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Thumbnail: “Ruins of Longfellow School, Murphysboro, Illinois, where 17 children were killed. The storm hit the school at approximately 2:30 p.m. local time.” Courtesy of Wikipedia