History

The Top Three Deadliest Tornadoes in Texas History

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Although devastating, tornado season here in Texas has often been the focus of some fascination. Watching from a distance, powerful twisters leave people in awe with respect to where and how they land, their shape and strength, and the sheer amount of damage they cause. More often than not, they’ve proven to be the bane of our existence here in the Lone Star State. Ever since people can remember, dealing with tornadoes has been a regular occurrence. If you are one of the unlucky individuals who has had to deal with tornadoes firsthand, you’ll understand just how quickly these storms can turn against you. Here are the top three deadliest tornadoes in Texas according to history.

Number Three: Rocksprings, April 12, 1927

There were 74 reported casualties as a result of the F5 tornado that hit Rocksprings in 1927. In addition, 205 sustained injuries. In that day and age, this accounted for almost a third the town’s populace. Not only that, but in a place where 247 buildings had developed, 235 were taken down by the cyclone’s devastating mile-wide course. Ranking as number three in the deadliest tornadoes in Texas, the storm was estimated to have continued for close to another 65 miles after it struck the Edwards County town.

Number Two: Goliad, May 18, 1902

The Top Three Deadliest Tornadoes in Texas History

Photo: envato elements

Ranked second in terms of the deadliest tornadoes in Texas, the twister that hit Goliad in 1902 was a small one (measuring roughly an eighth of a mile wide,) that packed a horrible punch. It was listed as a category F4 and claimed the lives of 114 people. 250 townspeople were also injured, and hundreds of area buildings were wiped out as a result. The lives lost and the destruction it caused source its ranking as one of the deadliest tornadoes in Texas.

Number One: Waco, May 11, 1953

The Top Three Deadliest Tornadoes in Texas History

Photo: envato elements

The cyclone that hit Waco on May 11, 1953 ranks as number one in the deadliest tornadoes in Texas. Its path measured a third of a mile wide, and it was listed as a category F5. 114 people were killed in the event, with 597 others being injured. Many of the survivors identified waiting for 14 hours for their rescue because the damage and debris was so bad. It destroyed at least 600 buildings and homes in the process and damaged close to 1K more. In addition, roughly 2K vehicles sustained damage.