Below are the ten deadliest tornadoes in United States history:
1. Tri-State Tornado – March 18, 1925
This F5 tornado caused 695 deaths as it cut a swath through Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana.
2. The Great Natchez Tornado, Natchez, Mississippi – May 6, 1840
Responsible for 317 documented deaths, although this twister likely killed many more as the deaths of slaves was not included in the documented total.
3. St. Louis/East St. Louis, Illinois – May 27, 1896
255 deaths. This twister destroyed large sections of both cities on each side of the Mississippi River. Actual death total is likely higher, as documented total does not include those killed who lived on shanty boats on the river.
4. Tupelo, Mississippi – April 5, 1936
216 official deaths, although many people who were still hospitalized after the official death total was announced eventually died from their injuries.
5. Gainesville, Georgia – April 5, 1936
203 deaths. Occurred the same day as the Tupelo tornado, many people who were declared missing were not accounted for in the official death total.
6. Higgins, Texas/Woodward, Oklahoma – April 9, 1947
181 deaths. 100 city blocks in Woodward were destroyed, where most of the deaths occurred.
7. Joplin, Missouri – May 22, 2011
Responsible for 158 deaths, this EF5 tornado’s path of destruction was 3/4 of a mile wide and over 22 miles long.
8. Amite, Louisiana/Purvis, Mississippi – April 24, 1908
143 deaths, mostly in Purvis, where 95% of the town’s homes were destroyed.
9. New Richmond, Wisconsin – June 12, 1899
This EF5 tornado caused 117 deaths and struck right as the Gollmar Brothers Circus was finishing its show. The circus brought hundreds of additional tourists to the town of 1,800.
10. Flint, Michigan – June 8, 1953
This F5 twister was responsible for 116 deaths.