MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - We hear it all the time, people saying, “That tornado won’t affect me because I am on the other side of the river.” Contrary to poplar belief, a city can still be affected by a tornado even if it is along a river.
In this episode of The Breakdown, we will bust the myth wide open, explaining how tornadoes can still cross a river.
In fact, many tornadoes have crossed rivers and even gone on to cause widespread damage to riverside cities.
One such example was the Tri-State tornado of 1925. This F5 tornado tore a path through Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. Nearly 235 miles long and killed 695 people.
This single storm, crossed not only the Mississippi River, it also crossed the Wabash River before it finally dissipated near Petersburg, Indiana.
Another example is the Great Natchez, Mississippi tornado of 1840. That storm tracked directly down the Mississippi River, killing hundreds, mostly those who were on the river itself.
Other storms have crossed large rivers without losing any speed, they momentarily become water spouts, and then devastated cities that folklore had though were immune to tornadoes.
Another example was the Waco, Texas tornado of 1953 that crossed the Brazos River, or even the Great St. Louis Cyclone of 1869 that jumped the Mississippi River.
While you may hear people say, that tornado won’t affect me as I am on the other side of the river. Know that the myth is busted!