Flint Tornado 6/8/53

Like Don't move Unlike

Today (6/8) is the anniversary of the worst tornado disaster ever in Michigan. Until the Joplin tornado in 2011, it was the last tornado to kill over 100 people in the U.S. The Flint/Beecher tornado of 1953 was responsible for 116 fatalities (ranging in age from 5 months to 80 years) and 844 injuries. Fifty-five of the fatalites were children under 20 years old. 113 fatalities were along a four-mile stretch of Coldwater Road. You can see the amazing “hook echo” on the old radar and the large vertical tornado in the picture above.

The twister was ranked F5, one of only two F5 tornadoes in Michigan history (the other being the Hudsonville/Standale tornado of 4/3/56). It was nearly 1/2-mile wide and there was a continuous path of damage for 27 miles. The storm totally destroyed 340 homes and 66 other buildings. Here’s links to pics. and survivor stories.

There were 7 other tornadoes in Michigan that day. Those storms caused 9 fatalities and injured 52 others. It’s interesting that the low temperature in Flint that morning was a cool 49°. The last time an F4 tornado occurred in Michigan was 4/2/77, a tornado that moved from Kalamazoo into Eaton County.

June 8, 2016 By Bill Steffen

the author

Kyrie Wagner

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *