Fifty years have passed since the worst tornado outbreak on record

1974 Tornado Knightstown
Super outbreak 1974
Posted at 11:21 AM, Apr 03, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-03 12:32:38-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Fifty years ago on April 3rd, 1974, Indiana was part of the worst tornado outbreak in U.S. history. In total, 148 tornadoes swept across 13 states. Three hundred thirty-five people were killed. History remembers this as the Super Outbreak of 1974.

1974 Tornado Knightstown
Indiana was part of the worst tornado outbreak in U.S. history on April 3, 1974.

Of the 21 tornadoes to hit the Hoosier State, the “Monticello” F-4 tornado was among the worst. The half-mile-wide tornado traveled 109 miles across 8 counties. Nearly 20 Hoosiers were killed. Winds along the path of the tornado ranged from 207 to 260 mph.

Super outbreak 1974
An outbreak of 148 tornadoes swept across the country in April 1974.

The Super Outbreak of 1974 also produced the strongest tornadoes in Indiana history. Three F-5 tornadoes hit southern Indiana with winds over 260 mph.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security is commemorating the tragic outbreak with a new website filled with historical records and stories of survival.

Visitors can also view an interactive map showing the paths of each tornado to hit the Hoosier state.