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A Terrifying, Deadly Storm Struck Ohio In 1974… And No One Saw It Coming

The 1974 Super Outbreak struck the Midwest in early April with a total of 65 tornadoes and 319 fatalities—and it nearly wiped out one of Ohio’s small cities.

An E/F5 tornado struck Xenia, Ohio on April 3, causing notable damage, (particularly in the Windsor and Arrowhead subdivisions on the far west side of the city), and claiming 32 lives. It is often considered to be one of the most deadly tornadoes in history.

Tornadoes in this two-day outbreak also struck parts of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and New York.

Damage to Xenia varied. Although the Greene County Courthouse survived, many other structures did not. The downtown area received notably less damage than the west edge of Xenia.

For more information and actual footage of the storm, check out the video below:

Do you remember when this tornado outbreak struck Xenia? Share your thoughts and memories with us.

April Dray
Ohio staff writer for Only in Your State, freelance journalist and blogger. Written word is my zeal. I love my cat and she tolerates me.