Illinois December 23, 2016
A Terrifying, Deadly Storm Struck Illinois In 1925 And No One Saw It Coming
The deadliest tornado in American history ripped through Southern Illinois on March 18th, 1925. It is widely considered by experts to have been an F5 Tornado, the highest rating on the Fujita Scale, though the scale wasn’t yet being used at the time.
This headline from the Chicago Herald-Examiner says it all:
Though the final death toll was reported at 695, this article shows the devastation that the area experienced. The tornado flattened towns all across the southern part of Illinois.
The storm was unimaginably massive, dragging across three states.
Maintaining the worldwide record for the longest tornado in history is no small feat; the multiple-vortex tornado covered a track of 219 miles.
The twisters drove gaping holes through beloved buildings and tore apart residents' homes.
Railroad tracks were ripped from the ground, tall buildings crumbled, and trees were torn out at the root. To make matters worse, fires spread through the rubble, killing those trapped beneath.
To say that the storm destroyed the towns it its path is, unfortunately, an understatement.
Gorham, DeSoto, Parrish, and Murphysboro were some of the Illinois towns hit hardest. The residents were left to care for the injured, mourn the dead, and ultimately, to rebuild their towns.
One particularly heartbreaking story from this disaster came out of Murphysboro, Illinois.
Longfellow School in Murphysboro was completely demolished by the storm, leaving 17 young students dead.
Since this horrific turn of events, the towns have rebuilt.
Determined not to lose their communities, the townspeople worked together to bring their towns back to life.
What have you heard about this deadly event in Illinois history? Has your family passed down any stories? Let us know in the comments.