April 24, 1908: The Dixie Tornado Outbreak

| April 24, 2017 @ 12:30 pm

The Dixie Tornado Outbreak of 1908 turned out to be a deadly event across the south and eastern parts of the United States. At least 34 tornadoes struck in the area from Texas and Oklahoma over to Georgia and Tennessee. A grand total of 320 people were killed with over 1,000 were injured throughout this three day event. The hardest hit community was Purvis, Mississippi, where 55 people died as the town was completely destroyed.

April 26th was a very violent and deadly day across the state of Alabama. Four very destructive tornadoes touched down on the day, killing 48 people and injuring another 260.

The first killer tornado that struck the state touched down at 2:40PM near the town of Dora in Walker County, and traveled for 105 miles on the ground until lifting near Sylvania in Dekalb County at 4:15PM. During the 1 hour and 35 minutes that this killer was on the ground, 35 people lost their lives and 188 were injured. People claim that the hills located on the sides of Dora, actually saved the town from destruction. Only trees on the tops of the hills were uprooted. The same cannot be said about the community of Bergens, as it was completely destroyed by the monster F4 tornado.

The second tornado created a path of destruction up to 16 miles long, starting off in Cherokee County around 7:10PM and moved into Georgia. Along its path, 11 people were killed and 50 were injured.

A weaker, but still deadly F2 tornado touched down at approximately 9:00PM near Fort Deposit in Lowndes County, and roared to the northeast for about 5 miles, killing 2 people and injuring 22. Over $80,000 in damages and 50 buildings were destroyed.

The last tornado of the night was really a continuation of the Fort Deposit storm, as it touched down in the northern part of Montgomery County and moved northeast into the extreme southern part of Elmore County. Total damage path length was 4 miles, and maximum width was 300 yards. Two frame buildings in the small town of Shiloh Church were partially destroyed. That damage, along with other damage along the path, totaled about $3,000.

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Category: ALL POSTS, Met 101/Weather History

About the Author ()

Scott Martin is a meteorologist, graphic artist, musician, husband, and a father. Scott is a member of the National Weather Association and the Central Alabama Chapter of the National Weather Association. Scott is also the co-founder of Racecast Weather, which provides accurate forecasts for many racing series across the USA.