Tri-State remembers Sayler Park Tornado of 1974

Published: Apr. 4, 2013 at 1:33 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 4, 2013 at 2:45 AM EDT
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(FOX19) - Many people in the Tri-State remember the Super Outbreak of Tornadoes of 1974.

In less than 24 hours on April 3 and 4, 1974, a total of 148 tornadoes touched down in the United States. To this day, it continues to be called 'The Super Outbreak of Tornadoes' and is the standard against which all other tornado outbreaks are judged.

The numbers are astounding, 7 – F5 tornadoes touched down. Along with the Sayler Park tornado was the infamous Brandenburg, KY and the deadliest of all, the 148 Xenia, OH tornado.

The Xenia tornado took the lives of 33 people in 37 minutes. 1,150 were injured during the 52 mph frenzied rampage of 32 miles by this multiple vortex monster.

Brandenburg, KY did not fare much better. The death toll there was 31 but there were only 270 injuries. The storm was slower than Xenia moving at 39 mph.

Both pleasant small cities were devastated.

Luckily the death toll for the Sayler Park tornado was lower. Only 3 lost their lives while 210 were injured. Despite the lower tolls, this F5 was historic.

The Sayler Park Tornado:

  • Was the most photographed tornado in history up to that time.
  • Was the only tornado of all 148 on the ground in three states.
  • Crossed the Ohio River twice from Ohio County, IN into Boone County, KY then crossed the river again into Hamilton County, OH.
  • Was the first time the enlargement of a tornado's condensation funnel was photographically documented while moving through the moist air of a river valley.
  • Was determined to have upward moving air at about 165 mph by Dr. T. Fujita analyzing debris patterns on film shot by local residents.
  • Traveled at 55 mph and ended its life as a classic rope tornado. Storm chasers say it "roped out".

Find out more about local tornadoes and information by visiting FOX19 Chief Meteorologist Steve Horstmeyer's blog:





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