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>>

  • Indiana University student found dead at sorority house

    Indiana University student found dead at sorority house

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -FOX59 in Indianapolis is reporting a student died at the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority house on IU's campus Thursday night. According to IU spokesman Mark Land a student was found dead at the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority house around 8 p.m. Foul play is not suspected. The sorority is located at 1020 N. Jordan Ave. IU is in the process of notifying the student's parents.More >>
    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -FOX59 in Indianapolis is reporting a student died at the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority house on IU's campus Thursday night. According to IU spokesman Mark Land a student was found dead at the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority house around 8 p.m. Foul play is not suspected. The sorority is located at 1020 N. Jordan Ave. IU is in the process of notifying the student's parents.More >>
  • Purdue students get funding for projects in Africa

    Purdue students get funding for projects in Africa

    Two teams of Purdue University students have been awarded nearly $20,000 for projects intended to boost an African village's water supply and design a new type of African grain thresher.More >>
    Two teams of Purdue University students have been awarded nearly $20,000 for projects intended to boost an African village's water supply and design a new type of African grain thresher.More >>
  • Walorski-Bock congressional race gets heated

    Walorski-Bock congressional race gets heated

    There are just over 60 days left before voters go to the polls for midterm elections, which means the race for Indiana's second congressional district is heating up. Incumbent Congresswoman Jackie Walorski has released the campaign's first attack ad. "He's running for office in Indiana, but he was a politician in Missouri. Bock had a proven record there of...well...looking out for himself."More >>
    There are just over 60 days left before voters go to the polls for midterm elections, which means the race for Indiana's second congressional district is heating up. Incumbent Congresswoman Jackie Walorski has released the campaign's first attack ad. "He's running for office in Indiana, but he was a politician in Missouri. Bock had a proven record there of...well...looking out for himself."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.