On Monday, February 12, 1945, the front pages of newspapers around the country were dominated by reports from the different theaters of World War II.
The main headlines carried news about the meeting between the Big Three (FDR, Churchill and Stalin) in the Crimea. Plans for postwar Europe were already being discussed even as Allied troops closed in on Berlin from the East, West and South. The Russians were nearing Dresden as the Canadians drove on Wesel. The American Third Army, under General Eisenhower, had opened a 145 mile front inside Germany. Over one million Allied Troops were inside the country.
But there were tragic news reports from the Deep South, where a series of tornadoes dealt death and destruction across parts of Mississippi and Alabama. The problems began when a tornado cut a path across Meridian, killing at least seven people. The same storm produced another tornado that touched down about 4:30 p.m. near York in Sumter County. The F4 monster moved along an 18 mile path, passing near Livingston. One person was reportedly killed at York and another nine near Livingston. Thirty nine of forty one cars of a freight train were derailed on a trestle over the Sucarnoochee River. The conductor and fireman on the train were killed and many others injured.
Less than one hour later, the same storm system spawned an F3 tornado that ripped across the southern and western side of Montgomery. This tornado would be the deadliest of the day, killing at least 26 people. This twister created spectacular damage as it crossed railyards, demolishing over forty rail cars. The entire city of Montgomery was left without electricity for several hours. Two government warehouses and 35 homes were destroyed in the cotton mill community of Chisholm, on the north side of Montgomery. Governor Chauncey Sparks ordered the National Guard into duty to prevent looting.
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Category: Met 101/Weather History