10 Most Devastating Tornadoes In US History

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8. 1840 – The Great Natchez Tornado

Forming approximately 20 miles southwest of Natchez, shortly before 1 pm on Thursday, May 7, 1840, this tornado would make its way up the Mississippi River, destroying everything in its path before arriving at Natchez, Mississippi. When it struck the riverport of Natchez Landing, located below the bluff from Natchez, it tossed 116 of the 120 flatboats docked at Natchez that day into the river drowning their crews and passengers.

The funnel slammed the central and northern portions of the town of Natchez, and many buildings were utterly destroyed, eventually causing $1.26 million in damages, that around $32.7 million in today’s money. It would injure 109 people and claim 317 lives, 48 people killed on land, and 269 others died on the river. However, those numbers are likely to be wildly inaccurate as there were reports that hundreds of slaves working the plantations also lost their lives.

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