Remembering America's worst tornado ever: The Tri-State Tornado of 1925

Watch Local 4's 1992 report on the deadly twister

By Paul Gross - Meteorologist , Ken Haddad

Ninety-two years ago today, the single worst tornado in United States history occurred. 

This twister was so devastating and so impactful that it was even given a name, ”The Tri-State Tornado.” And it was aptly named, because it traveled across three states. 

This tornado set many records that still stand today, even with current tornadoes hitting more highly populated areas. The difference? No warning. 

Today, we meteorologists will see the rotation aloft prior to a large, violent tornado like this ten minutes before it even touches down.  And with  modern communications, once it does touch down, you’d know about.

But back in 1925, nobody knew about this massive, strong tornado until the horizon started getting dark.  And given the tornado’s incredibly fast forward speed, it was upon them almost before they had a chance to take cover.

ALSO SEE: 5 years ago: Devastating tornado rips through Dexter, Michigan

Twenty-five years ago, I traveled to the hardest hit city, Murphysboro, Illinois, and interviewed residents who witnessed the Tri-State Tornado. 

I’ve grabbed that story from our archives (watch it above), and want you to see it today, on the tornado’s anniversary.  Listen to what they say and look into their eyes as they share what they experienced, and let’s hope it doesn’t happen again in our lifetimes.

This is also a reminder to take tornado warnings seriously.  Michigan Severe Weather Awareness week isn’t until next month, but it’s never too early to start thinking about your personal safety plan should a tornado threaten…especially since, last month for only the second time in Michigan history, we had tornadoes touch down in February.

Copyright 2017 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.