1974: The "Super Tornado Outbreak"


Manage episode 289052346 series 2862916
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The last few days of March 1974 and the first couple of days of April 1974 brought unseasonable warmth to much of the nation east of the Mississippi River. Across Ohio and northern Kentucky, the daffodils were blooming, and grass had turned a bright green, and, in some places, there was a hint of blue, that marks many types of grasses in Kentucky. Birds had already started to build their nests as the unseasonable warmth lasted for several days. But it was a false sign of spring and trouble was brewing in the vast frozen hinterlands of arctic Canada. Bitter cold from the departed winter still held sway up in the great north and when the jet stream that had pulled up toward the Canadian border to transport the out of season warmth to the Ohio valley buckled, the cold was unleashed. Once the cold spilled over that region record low temperatures would wreak havoc with the blossoming buds and leave a skiff of snow on the ground. But before that happened, a violent cold front marking the leading edge of the bitter blast would rake across the region. It spanned killer twisters that went into the record books as the "Super Tornado Outbreak " - In 18 hours mostly on April 3, 1974, 148 tornadoes struck 13 states from Georgia to the Canadian border. 315 were killed and 6100 injured. Damage reached 1/2 billion dollars or almost 3 billion in 2021 dollars. Brandenburg, KY was completely destroyed with 28 killed and half of Xenia, OH was leveled with 33 dead.

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