Ceremony Events

The Science Behind the Flint-Beecher Tornado

Introduction  |  Background  |  Map Features  |  Similarity with July 2, 1997 Outbreak  |  Modern Retrospective of June 8, 1953


One of the nation's most devastating natural disasters occurred in the Flint, Michigan's Beecher district on Monday, June 8th, 1953, resulting in 116 deaths and injuring 844. To date, this F5 intensity tornado was the last one in the United States to result in over 100 fatalities. In a 2000 National Weather Service poll, both the general public, and area "weather experts" voted the Flint-Beecher Tornado as the worst natural disaster in the state of Michigan in the 20th century.

The year 1953 was also one of the nation's worst tornado years. Earlier that in the spring, a tornado ripped through Waco, TX, killing 114 and injuring 597. And the day following the Flint-Beecher tornado, the same storm system spawned a F4 Tornado in Worcester, Massachusetts that killed 90 people and injured over 1288. In fact, on May 21, 1953, an F4 intensity tornado roared through St. Clair County and the Port Huron area, killing 2 and injuring 68.


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