What Was the Flint Beecher Tornado

If you’re like many Michiganders, you know that we get our fair share of tornadoes each year – but you may not have learned about our state’s biggest tornado on record: the Flint-Beecher Tornado. Here’s what you need to know.

What Was the Flint-Beecher Tornado?

The Flint-Beecher Tornado was one of the country’s most devastating national disasters. It touched down in Flint’s Beecher district on Monday, June 8, 1953. The F-5 tornado tore through everything in its path, resulting in 116 deaths and 844 injuries. For reference, an F-5 tornado can feature sustained winds of up to 318 miles per hour – and it can lift homes right off their foundations, as well as throw cars as far as 100 meters.

Related: The Fujita-Pearson Tornado Scale

The Flint-Beecher Tornado was one of a string of particularly bad storms that hit the entire country in 1953. The day after it tore through Michigan, the same storm system spawned an F-4 tornado in Worcester, Massachusetts that killed 90 and injured 1,288 people.

Other Tornadoes on the Same Day in Michigan

The Flint-Beecher Tornado wasn’t the only storm to come from that rough weather system that tore through Michigan on June 8 that year. An F-4 tornado touched down near temperance, Ohio, moved through Erie, and traveled over Lake Erie as a waterspout for a record-breaking 44 minutes. Another one touched down northeast of Brighton and went all the way to the GM Proving Grounds in Milford. There were a total of eight tornadoes reported in Michigan that day.

Check out the Detroit Free Press’s front page that day here and the Lansing State Journal’s front page here.

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