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Top 10 Deadliest Tornadoes

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Tornadoes cause major damage, often without warning. Severe thunderstorms can produce twisters more than a mile wide. The storms rip through both rural and urban areas causing billions of dollars in damages every year. Here, I present a list of the top 10 deadliest tornadoes in the United States. All statistics are from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). The NCDC maintains and archives all confirmed weather events for the United States.

1. March 18, 1925

The Tri-State Tornado event affected Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana injuring 2027 people. There were 695 deaths from the F5 tornado. The storm was so bad, the National Weather Service maintains a memorial page on the event called 1925: A Look Back at the Tri-State Tornado.

2. May 6, 1840

A tornado of unknown intensity struck Louisiana and Mississippi killing 317 people and injuring an additional 109. The event is summarized by the National Weather Service at the Natchez Tornado page.

3. May 27, 1896

A tornado estimated at an F4 rating on the Fujita Scale hit Missori and Illinois. At least 1000 were injured. The storm, known as the Great St. Louis Tornado, killed 255 people.

4. April 5, 1936

Mississippi was the target of a deadly F5 tornado that killed 216 people in Tulepo. More than 700 people were also injured in the event.

5. April 6, 1936

Just one day after the Mississippi tornadoes, an F4 tornado struck Georgia killing 203 people. The death toll was less than the death toll from the Missippi tornadoes, but the injury rate was higher. A total of 1600 people were injured in the tornado.

6. April 9, 1947

Tornado Alley lived up to its name in the tornado event on April 9, 1947 in Texas, Kansas, and Oklahoma. The death toll was 181 people. An additional 970 people were injured.

7. April 24, 1908

Amite, Louisiana and Purvis, Mississippi were hit by tornadoes estimated at an F4 intensity. A total of 770 injuries and 143 deaths were reported.

8. June 12, 1899

An F5 tornado hit Wisconsin causing 117 deaths and 200 injuries. The event, known as the New Richmond Tornado, was the worst tornado in Wisconsin history.

9. May 11, 1953

The Waco, Texas tornado event of 1953 struck the town with a vengeance. Death tolls from the storm totaled 114 individuals. A reported 597 additional people were also injured.

10. June 8, 1953

The Beecher-Flint, Michigan Tornado was an F5 that killed 115 people and injured an additional 844.

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