Almost a full mile wide, the monster tornado hit land west of the city before tearing through its streets. Chaos was left in the storm’s wake. Indeed, raging at speeds of 200 mph, this twister was so powerful that nothing could withstand its force.
Unsurprisingly, the extent of the damage to the city was colossal. Nearly 8,000 homes and 500 businesses were either damaged or destroyed. Beyond that, a debris field of more than three million cubic yards was left behind.
But far more devastating was the number of townspeople who lost their lives. No less than 158 people died, and another 1,100 sustained injuries. A further 9,000, meanwhile, were displaced. But there was more to come. Following the disaster, a new threat emerged. And it was baffling to doctors.