I recently moved from the Chicago area to Flint, Michigan, and heard about a huge tornado here many years ago. Is this true?

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Dear Tom,
I recently moved from the Chicago area to Flint, Michigan, and heard about a huge tornado here many years ago. Is this true?
Frank Mala, Flint, Michigan

Dear Frank,
It is indeed true. The Flint-Beecher tornado of June 8, 1953, ranks as Michigan’s worst tornado disaster and, in records dating from 1950, the second-worst single tornado (behind only the Joplin, Missouri, tornado of May 22, 2011) to occur in the United States. The tornado touched down at 7:30 pm CST and remained on the ground for 27 miles, moving mainly through rural areas and farmland, but most of the damage and loss of life occurred in Beecher, a Flint suburb. One hundred sixteen lives were lost (113 in Beecher) and an additional 844 injured. The tornado is rated F5 and had a path width at times of one-half mile. Six other tornadoes (claiming nine lives) developed that evening in eastern Michigan.