The Times podcast: Our Masters of Disasters know it’s windy when they build a house, say the experts
The Great Texas Tornado of 1926 was one of the deadliest in the state’s history. It killed more than 200 people with wind speeds from 120 mph to 150 mph, and its path was only slightly more than two miles from downtown Houston.
In the days after it struck, residents of a neighboring ranch discovered a body in the rubble, and it turned out to be Jesse James, the notorious outlaw who had lived on the property.
In the decades since, the Texas capital has been rocked by numerous tornadoes, and several have caused widespread destruction. And the phenomenon is not limited to Texas.
The deadliest in the U.S., in terms of number of deaths, were both the 1927 Waldo Canyon Tornado in California and the 1966 EF5 tornado in Jefferson County, Alabama. But as this podcast learns, the most devastating tornadoes in history are also the most mysterious.
Listen to “The Times podcast: Our Masters of Disasters know it’s windy when they build a house, say the experts” on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or your favorite podcast app.
The Waldo Canyon Tornado, near Death Valley, California, on July 7, 1927. The deadly weather event has been dubbed the “Great American Tornado,” the likes of which have not been seen in the U.S. since the late 1890s. The Waldo Canyon Tornado in 1927 set a record for the deadliest outbreak of tornadoes in history, with 1,093 deaths. The National Weather Service office in Death Valley, California, is still there.
The Weather Channel
The Weather Channel – The Weather Channel
The storm was so intense that the local newspaper reported how the tornado made the atmosphere “look like the inside of an iron lung.”
A report on the disaster made by the New York Times says the winds