Tri-state tornado of 1925 remains deadliest in United States history


ST. LOUIS– Today marks 96 years since the Tri-state tornado carved the deadliest path for a single tornado in United States history. The tornado crossed through Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana on March 18, 1925.

Here are the stats from the tornado:

  • Death toll- 695
  • Injured- 2,027
  • Length- 219 miles
  • Duration- 3.5 hours
  • Damage- 15,000 homes

The twister started in the town of Annapolis in Iron County, Missouri. It destroyed 90% of the town. It then stayed on the ground as it headed to the town of Biehle where the entire town was leveled.

The Twister crossed the Mississippi River into southern Illinois where it destroyed 40% of Murphysboro. There were 234 people killed there.

It continued through Illinois to the town of De Soto where the twister destroyed 30% of the town. It hit a school building killing 33 students.

The tornado then stayed on the ground through southern Illinois. The area is mostly flat farmland.

It’s path of damage continued into Indiana where it destroyed the entire town of Griffin. It eventually stopped after hitting Princeton.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch originally reported there were nearly 800 people that died but when the final death count was tallied, the number dropped to 659 deaths.

The Missouri state archives has some documents on the tornado. You can view some of the images on their online database.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.


Latest News

More News