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Beecher Tornado Facts

  • Date/Time: Monday, June 8, 1953 8:30 pm EST
  • Fujita scale: F5
    F5 definition: Incredible damage. Strong frame houses leveled off foundations and swept away; automobile-sized missiles fly through the air in excess of 100 meters; trees debarked; incredible phenomena will occur. Wind speeds approximately 261-318 mph. (Only F5 in Southeast Lower Michigan)
  • Fatalities: 116
    113 occurred in a 4-mile stretch of Coldwater Road from 2500W to 1500E (Clio Road to Dort Highway)
  • Oldest fatality: 80
  • Youngest fatality: 5 months
  • Injuries: 844
  • Hospitals involved:
    Genesee County: Hurley; St. Joseph; Flint General; Flint Osteopathic; McLaren General
    Saginaw County: St. Mary; St. Luke; Saginaw General
  • Damage: $19 million in 1953 dollars ($125 million in 2003 dollars)
    340 homes were destroyed, 107 suffered "major damage", and 153 suffered "minor damage". Another 66 buildings destroyed or damaged to farms, businesses and other buildings.
  • Path Length: 27 miles
    Start: between Linden and Webster Roads, Mt. Morris Township, Genesee County;
    End: Five Lakes Road, Deerfield Township, Lapeer County
  • Path Width: 833 yards
  • Speed of Tornado: Approximately 35 mph
  • Highest Temperature and Dewpoint observed at Flint:
    Temperature: 82°F at 4:28 PM EST
    Dewpoint: 72°F at 9:28 PM EST
  • Lowest Barometric Pressure observed at Flint: 29.71" of mercury recorded 8:28 PM EST
  • First report of rain occurred at the Flint observation (airport) at 10:47 PM EST
  • First Report of tornado per Flint observation (airport) occurred at 8:33 PM EST
  • Actual observations during the time of tornado converted to current METAR format:
    (original observations: those listed below or complete observation form)
    SPECI KFNT 090128Z 18020KT 12SM VCTS BKN040CB 26/22 A2997 RMK
    AO2 SLP061 TS W-N MOV NE LTGICCG ALQDS T02560217
    SPECI KFNT 090145Z 21020KT 12SM VCTS BKN040CB 26/22 A2997 RMK
    A02 SLP061 TS ALQDS LTGICCG ALQDS UNCONFIRMED +FC 2MI N FLUSHING
    MOV ENE POSSIBLY HITTING FNT 0133Z ESTIMATED T02560217
    
  • Severe Weather Bulletins highlighting the threat of hazardous weather June 8th 1953: 1
  • Daily summary: High temperature of 82°F, low temperature of 49°F, 0.07" of precipitation
  • Total Michigan tornadoes June 8th 1953: 8
    The Flint-Beecher Tornado was just one of eight tornadoes that occurred during that evening across the eastern portion of the Lower Peninsula.
  • Total tornado fatalities on June 8th, 1953: 126
  • Total tornado injuries on June 8th, 1953: 925
  • Last F5 in Michigan: 4/3/56 in Southwest Lower Michigan (Ottawa-Kent-Montcalm Counties)
  • Last Violent Tornado (F4):
    In Michigan, 4/2/77 in Southwest Lower (Kalamazoo-Eaton Counties). In Southeast Lower Michigan: 3/20/76 (Oakland County)
 


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