The Ugly

On the June 1953 one of the most devastating tornadoes to hit Southeast Michigan known as the Flint Beecher Tornado. It went through the northern part of Flint in what is known as the Beecher District. There was a warm front northeast out of the Ohio Valley in Southern Lower Michigan but at the same time a cold front flowed east across Eastern Wisconsin. The temperatures were in the 70’s ahead of the warm front. South of the warm front, temperatures and dew points jumped up about 10. Temperatures over southeast lower Michigan by late afternoon had warmed into the lower 80’s and dew points 70. The atmosphere was warm and unstable. The Flint tornado was described as the ugly dancing black cloud in the Flint Journal. On record the total of deaths came to be 116 making it the eighth deadliest tornado in U.S. History and the last single U.S. Tornado to kill more than 100 people, 20 families reported multiply deaths, and 900 injured. On the Fujita scale this tornado was a F5 with an estimated wind speed of 261 to 318 mph.

In areas where tornado’s occur there are warnings that sound or alert through the radio or television. During the time of the Flint-Beecher Tornado, there were no short-term tornado warnings. This tornado occurred in a time when the technology was not as good as today so there was no way of alerting the community or detect when these natural disasters are close. If they had warnings back then as we do today way less people would have died and would have been able to at least take shelter.

Sashea’le Brown


One response

  1. This is a really interesting post, this tornado is always going to be remembered, just because of the fact that this has been the deadliest tornado ever seen in Michigan. After this tornado authorities have promoted severe weather awareness and advances in the science of tornado prediction. In 2003 a commemoration ceremony was held at the Beecher high school. The total cost of the damages was around $19 million in 1953 which equals now over $150 million.
    – Jose Flores

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