Saturday is the Anniversary of the Deadliest Tornado in Texas History
Texas certainly has it's fair share of tornadoes. Being part of tornado alley, the state averages over 146 per year. That's more than any other state in the country. Texas is also home to some of the most powerful and deadly tornadoes in the world. The deadliest in the state's history occurred on May 11, 1953.
The tornado hit Waco, TX and killed 114 people, injuring an additional 597. It was around 4:10 p.m. when the tornado touched down southwest of Waco, near the town of Lorena. It then moved into the Waco area during rush hour, leading to its deadly impact. It also occurred in a storm with very heavy rain, making it very difficult to see the twister.
The tornado was given an F5 rating and was estimated to be 1/3 mile wide carving a path over 23-miles long. It destroyed over 600 homes and businesses and damaged over a thousand more. One of those structures sustaining damage was the Dr. Pepper bottling plant, which is still operating today. Two-thousand vehicles sustained damage as well. In all, over $41 million dollars in damage was sustained. This equates to over $390 million dollars today.
This tornado is tied for #11 on the list of deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history. #1 on that list belongs to the Tri-State tornado which hit Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana in 1925. That tornado killed 695 people.