April 3, 1974 – A “Super-Outbreak” of tornadoes ravaged the Midwest and the eastern U.S. It’s the largest known outbreak of tornadoes from one storm. Severe weather erupted early in the afternoon and continued through the next day. Severe thunderstorms spawned 148 tornadoes from Alabama to Michigan. The tornadoes killed 315, injured 6142 others, and caused 600 million dollars damage. Alabama, Kentucky and Ohio were especially hard hit in the tornado outbreak. One F5 tornado destroyed half of the town of Xenia OH killing 34 persons. Another tornado, near the town of Stamping Ground KY, produced a path of destruction a record five miles in width. A tornado raced through Guin AL at a speed of 75 mph. Two powerful tornadoes roared across northern Alabama during the early evening hours, killing fifty persons and injuring 500 others. Some rescue vehicles responding to the first tornado were struck by the second.
In Indiana there were 21 tornadoes. Eight of them were killers, leaving 49 dead and almost 800 injured. The fortieth tornado of the nationwide outbreak was an F5 that hit Depauw, Indiana at 2:43pm. The longest tornado path of the day was tornado number 13, which struck Monticello, Indiana at 5:15pm along its 97-mile long path (recent research suggests that this was actually three separate tornadoes along the same path).
Click for a LARGE version of the tornado track map.
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