XENIA — On April 3, 1974, much of Xenia was leveled by a powerful F5 tornado and in a little more than two months, the 50th anniversary of that horrific event will take place.
The twister was part of one of the worst tornado breakouts in US history. According to The Weather Channel, on April 3-4 there were 148 tornadoes in 13 states and Canada of which 30 were categorized as “violent” including six rated F5.
It was the second-largest tornado outbreak on record for a single 24-hour period and was also the most violent outbreak recorded with 30 F4/F5 tornadoes confirmed. A total of 35 were killed — 33 the day of the tornado and two who died later as a result of the storm. At the time the damage was estimated at $100 million, which would be closer to a half billion or more in today’s dollars.
Many Greene County residents who witnessed the storm can recall where they were when the storm hit. They remember what they did to protect themselves and their families and how they cleaned up the mess and rebuilt their lives in the aftermath.
We at the Greene County News want to tell those stories and show your photos. To mark this event, the Xenia Daily Gazette, Fairborn Daily Herald, and Beavercreek News-Current will devote several pages of our annual Progress section to the tornado. After all, what better way to show progress than to recall one of the darkest days the county has ever seen and illustrate how folks made it through and pressed on.
How did you stay safe? Were you part of the rescue effort? Did you actually see the tornado? How did the storm change your life?
We want to hear what you have to say. Email [email protected]. Call 937-372-4444. Stop by our office at 1836 W. Park Square.
Reach Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.