If there’s one thing that’s comforting about the news that a tornado is on the horizon, it’s the knowledge that climate change hasn’t created a super tornado just yet, so when you get hit, it’ll be the same kind of whirlwind that plagued your parents and grandparents. Considering that the wind speeds of a tornado can exceed 300 miles an hour, that these storms can travel over a hundred miles, and that the United States is hit with more than 1,000 tornadoes on any given year, the knowledge that cyclones aren’t getting worse (yet) might be cold comfort. Even without the help of climate change, a strong tornado is still a terrifying thing. Just ask the people who have seen the worst of a tornado up close and personal.
10. June 8, 1953
The tornado that touched down outside Flint, Michigan in 1953 was the worst tornado of the last half-century. Until the tornado that screamed through Joplin, Missouri, the June 8, 1953 cyclone was the worst in recent memory. The funnel cloud of the storm was reportedly a half mile wide and ran along the northern part of Flint for more than 27 miles. In the end, 116 people lost their lives and nearly a thousand people had been injured.