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Anniversary of deadly tornado outbreak in Cincinnati, Xenia


CINCINNATI (WXIX) – Today marks the 48th anniversary of the 1974 Super Outbreak that took hundreds of Midwestern lives.

The tornado outbreak occurred from April 3 to 4 and ravaged the Midwest area. Some of the strongest tornadoes occurred right here in the Ohio Valley.

Dozens of tornadoes struck Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, resulting in 159 deaths and over 4,000 injuries, according to the National Weather Service.

The NWS says that 148 tornadoes were documented in total. Thirty of those were rated F4 or F5 on the Fujita scale.

A hand-drawn map of the outbreak from Dr. Ted Fujita details some of the deadliest tornadoes of the outbreak, both in Xenia and Sayler Park in Cincinnati.

Dr. Theodore Fujita of University of Chicago hand-drew a map detailing the 1974 Super Outbreak tornado paths.(National Weather Service Wilmington)

The F5 tornado in Xenia resulted in 34 deaths, according to NWS. Dr. Fujita and other experts determined that the Xenia tornado was in fact the worst of all 148 tornadoes.

Another deadly F5 tornado swept through Cincinnati’s western suburb of Sayler Park, resulting in four deaths.

Thousands of people were left without power or homeless. The impacted communities had millions of dollars in damage.

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