10 of the Worst Tornadoes in United States History

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6. Oklahoma City and Moore, Oklahoma, on May 3, 1999

A parent supercell thunderstorm that began around 3:30 p.m. in Tillman County, Oklahoma, and lasted around 3 1/2 hours produced 14 tornadoes — one of which was the EF5 tornado that struck Moore and Oklahoma City.

After tracking near parts of Amber and Newcastle, the tornado reached southern Oklahoma City, where it damaged and flattened homes across a widespread area. The storm then entered Moore, cutting a swath of damage measuring one-half to three-quarters of a mile wide. As it moved through the area, the storm continued to wreak havoc on residential areas.

The tornado then traveled northeast into Oklahoma City, where it damaged an industrial district and turned northward to inflict destruction on a second industrial district before entering some of the city’s residential neighborhoods.

At one point, the tornado lifted a freight car, weighing around 18 tons, and blew it three-quarters of a mile across an open field. The car left gouge marks every 50 to 100 yards, indicating that it was airborne during parts of its journey.

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