Tri-state tornado of 1925 remains deadliest in United States history

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ST. LOUIS– Thursday marks 96 years since the Tri-state tornado carved the deadliest path for a single tornado in United States history. The tornado crossed through Missouri, Illinois and Indiana on March 18, 1925.

Here are the stats from the tornado:

  • Death toll- 695
  • Injured- 2,027
  • Length- 219 miles
  • Duration- 3.5 hours
  • Damage- 15,000 homes

The twister started in the town of Annapolis in Iron County, Missouri. It destroyed 90% of the town. It then stayed on the ground as it headed to the town of Biehle where the entire town was leveled.

The Twister crossed the Mississippi River into southern Illinois where it destroyed 40% of Murphysboro. There were 234 people killed there.

It continued through Illinois to the town of De Soto where the twister destroyed 30% of the town. It hit a school building killing 33 students.

The tornado then stayed on the ground through southern Illinois. The area is mostly flat farmland.

It’s path of damage continued into Indiana where it destroyed the entire town of Griffin. It eventually stopped after hitting Princeton.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch originally reported there were nearly 800 people that died but when the final death count was tallied, the number dropped to 659 deaths.

The Missouri state archives has some documents on the tornado. You can view some of the images on their online database.

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