Marshfield – April 18, 1880

On April 18, 1880, Missouri was struck by numerous tornadoes statewide, killing a total of 151 people. The most devastating damage was in Marshfield, where nearly every building was destroyed or significantly damaged and 99 people lost their lives.


St. Louis – May 27 1896

A devastating tornado moved through St. Louis and East St. Louis, Ill. on May 27, 1896, killing approximately 255 people and injuring more than 1,000 others. The tornado was responsible for at least $10 million in damage and is ranked as the third-deadliest tornado in United States history.


Tri-State Tornado – March 18, 1925

The Tri-State Tornado of March 18, 1925 was the deadliest single tornado in U.S. history, killing 689 people in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. The tornado caused devastating damage over three-and-a-half hours while traveling along its 219-mile long track. It raced through southeast Missouri, leaving death and destruction in Reynolds, Iron, Madison, Bollinger and Perry counties. This tornado also was the third-fastest tornado on record, traveling at nearly 60 miles per hour.


Poplar Bluff – May 9, 1927

On the afternoon of May 9, 1927, a tornado struck Poplar Bluff, destroying many buildings downtown. Ninety-eight people were killed, making it one of the deadliest on record.


St. Louis – Sept. 29, 1927

On Sept. 29, 1927, an EF4 tornado tore through downtown St. Louis, destroying more than 200 city blocks. There were 79 fatalities and 550 injuries, and it ranks as the 25th-deadliest tornado in the United States.


Joplin – May 22, 2011

In the late afternoon of May 22, 2011, an EF5 multiple-vortex tornado struck Joplin, Mo. Reaching a maximum width of over one mile and with winds peaking at 250 mph, the tornado destroyed or damaged virtually everything in a six-mile path.

The devastating tornado claimed 161 lives, making it one of the single deadliest U.S. twisters since 1953. The Joplin tornado was only the second EF5 tornado to strike Missouri since 1950. It was the seventh-deadliest tornado in U.S. history and the 27th-deadliest in world history.


Immediately following the disaster, emergency responders began search and rescue efforts, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol sent dozens of troopers to the area. That same night, Gov. Jay Nixon deployed Missouri National Guard Citizen-Soldiers to Joplin.

Joplin High School tornado damage

At 5:41 p.m. on May 22, 2011, a massive EF-5 tornado ripped through Joplin, destroying or damaging 8,000 homes and buildings and claiming 161 lives.