At 8:30pm (est) on June 8th 1953, the Beecher Tornado touched ground outside Flint, MI as part of the Flint-Worchester outbreak. This outbreak spawned eight tornadoes in southeastern Michigan and Ohio alone. Beecher, however, was the most powerful, ranking as an F5. With 116 fatalities and over 800 injuries, it is the 10th most lethal tornado in US history (formerly #9, it was recently ousted by Joplin in 2011). There was over $19m in damage (this would equate to over $150m today). In fact, the power of both this and the Worchester tornado the following day sparked congressional hearings; people thought that atomic bomb testing may have been the cause of such severe weather outside of Tornado Alley.

It may have been 60 years ago, but it has certainly not been forgotten. To this day, it remains the most lethal tornado in Michigan’s history.

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