A Look Back: The Tornado Super Outbreak of 1974 - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

A Look Back: The Tornado Super Outbreak of 1974

Posted:
Map of tornadoes that hit Northern Indiana on April 3, 1974 (Courtesy National Weather Service) Map of tornadoes that hit Northern Indiana on April 3, 1974 (Courtesy National Weather Service)

April 3, 1974 brought one of the most significant severe weather episodes in history. At the time, it was the worst single-event outbreak of tornadoes in the United States. An unprecedented total of 148 tornadoes developed across 13 states. Their paths stretched from Mississippi to Michigan and even to the Canadian province of Ontario. A total of 335 were killed from April 3 through April 4, including 49 people in Indiana, and 6,142 were injured.

Never before have so many, then named F4 (23) and F5 (7) tornadoes been observed and confirmed from a single severe weather event.

In Indiana alone 47 tornadoes struck with one even being an F5 (winds 261–318 mph!).  In Michiana: 1 tornado hit Kosciusko County, 4 in Noble County and 6 tore through Fulton County.

A closer look using the image to the left reveals the furthest traveled tornado churned up ground through much of Michiana. The half-mile wide, F4 tornado traveled an amazing 121 miles.

Among the worst hit areas was the town of Monticello in White County. Much of the town was destroyed including the courthouse, some churches and cemeteries, 40 businesses and numerous homes as well as three schools. It also heavily damaged the Penn Central bridge over the Tippecanoe River. Overall damage according to the NOAA was estimated at about $250 million with $100 million damage in Monticello alone.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Elkhart City Council votes not to annex area 10 while other areas pass with little or no opposition

    Elkhart City Council votes not to annex area 10 while other areas pass with little or no opposition

    The Elkhart City Council met to vote on the annexation of six areas in Elkhart County in front of a crowded Council Chambers. The areas being voted on were Toledo Road and County Road 13, Beck Drive and County Road 17, State Road 19 and County Road 4, County Road 6 and County Road 7, 54230 County Road 5 and the controversial Toledo Road and County Road 17 area.More >>
    The Elkhart City Council met to vote on the annexation of six areas in Elkhart County in front of a crowded Council Chambers. The areas being voted on were Toledo Road and County Road 13, Beck Drive and County Road 17, State Road 19 and County Road 4, County Road 6 and County Road 7, 54230 County Road 5 and the controversial Toledo Road and County Road 17 area.
    More >>
  • Mishawaka Police warn you should check your bank accounts

    Mishawaka Police warn you should check your bank accounts

    The Mishawaka Police Department is warning people to check their bank accounts. Police say between Friday July 18th and Monday July 21st, "unknown suspects have been purchasing merchandise in large quantities at popular local businesses in the Grape Road and Main Street area." Police say you should check with your bank to make sure your accounts have not been compromised.More >>
    The Mishawaka Police Department is warning people to check their bank accounts. Police say between Friday July 18th and Monday July 21st, "unknown suspects have been purchasing merchandise in large quantities at popular local businesses in the Grape Road and Main Street area." Police say you should check with your bank to make sure your accounts have not been compromised.
    More >>
  • Fatal motorcycle accident on US 20 in Elkhart

    Fatal motorcycle accident on US 20 in Elkhart

    A 42 year old Elkhart man was pronounced dead at the scene of a motorcycle accident Sunday just before 11 AM. The motorcycle driver was driving his Harley Davidson eastbound on US 20, when he crossed the center line near CO RD 13. He collided with a vehicle traveling west.Police reports say witnesses suggested the man may have been driving around 70-80 miles per hour. He was found not wearing a helmet. The driver of the car had only minor scrapes as injuries. The Elkhart County Crash Investig...More >>
    A 42 year old Elkhart man was pronounced dead at the scene of a motorcycle accident Sunday just before 11 AM. The motorcycle driver was driving his Harley Davidson eastbound on US 20, when he crossed the center line near CO RD 13. He collided with a vehicle traveling west.Police reports say witnesses suggested the man may have been driving around 70-80 miles per hour. He was found not wearing a helmet. The driver of the car had only minor scrapes as injuries. The Elkhart County Crash Investig...More >>
Powered by WorldNow

Fox 28

WSJV-TV FOX 28
58096 County Road 7, South
Elkhart, IN 46517

Switchboard: 574.679.9758
News Phone: 574.679.4545
Station Fax: 574.294.1267
Email: fox28news@fox28.com

All content ©Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSJV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Heather Stewart at (574) 343-5310. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.