The Tri-State Tornado
March 18, 1925 - The deadliest tornado in U.S. history struck on this day, carving a 219-mile path of destruction across Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. It's the longest continuous track left by a tornado that has ever been recorded.
At 1:00 in the afternoon the vortex began in Missouri where it killed at least 11 people and injured many more. Two schools were seriously damaged. The tornado crossed the Mississippi and blazed into Illinois where it wiped out the entire town of Gorham. 34 people died.
The death toll would skyrocket as the storm tore a mile-wide gash through towns like Parrish, Murphysboro, De Soto, West Frankfort, Zeigler, and Maunie. Illinois would suffer 613 fatalities.
Indiana was next. The tornado crossed the Wabash River and ripped its way through the towns of Griffin, Owensville and Princeton. 71 more lives were lost.
Finally, after 3 and a half hours of death, destruction and horror, the storm cleared.
The Tri-State Tornado killed 695 people, injured 2,027 and destroyed over 15,000 homes. In today's money, the financial cost of the disaster would be approximately $1.4 billion.