1944 Appalachians tornado outbreak
The 1944 Appalachians tornado outbreak was a deadly tornado outbreak that hit the Midwest and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States on June 22–23, 1944. Particularly hard hit was the town of Shinnston, West Virginia, in Harrison County which was completely destroyed by a violent tornado before 9:00 PM EDT on June 23. The outbreak itself was and still remains the worst tornado outbreak ever to hit the state of West Virginia. At least 154 people were killed and hundreds others injured in the eastern U.S., while at least 9 were killed across the Midwest.
After producing several tornadoes across the Midwest and Ohio Valley region on June 22 and killing at least nine people near the Wisconsin-Illinois border, the storm produced a particularly deadly tornado (or several tornadoes) across the Appalachian region of West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania on June 23. The storms killed at least 100 in West Virginia alone (72 in Harrison County), 50 others in Pennsylvania and Maryland, and injured at least 800 across the three states.
In addition to Shinnston, the West Virginia communities of Flemington, Meadowville, Montrose and Thomas were also hit. In addition to Harrison County, West Virginia's Marion (3 deaths), Barbour (9 deaths), Taylor (9 deaths) and Randolph Counties (7 deaths) were also hit. Eleven people were killed in Chartiers, Pennsylvania, by another tornado which killed in total 30, and 17 were killed by the McKeesport, Pennsylvania, tornado near Pittsburgh. All three tornadoes were rated F4 on the Fujita scale. At least 400 structures were destroyed and another 800 damaged.
While it is unclear if one single tornado produced all fatalities in the Appalachian region, the Shinnston tornado is ranked at least as the 15th-deadliest tornado of all time in the United States.
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