“Great Cyclone” 1896 Tornado Hit St. Louis & East St. Louis

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – 1896 was a bad year for tornadoes. It has been called the deadliest year for tornadoes in US history.

On May 27, 1896, a stormy day turned deadly when multiple tornadoes formed across Missouri.

After one formed near Hampton, but didn’t cause any deaths, another formed near Shaw’s Garden and headed downtown. It left a mile-wide path of destruction, then crossed the rover and hit East St. Louis. In total, 255 were confirmed dead, but it is unknown how many people might have been killed on the river – their bodies never to be recovered.

Here are some photos shared by John Pertzborn from the East St. Louis damage caused by the “Great Cyclone”.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.