The Immeasurable Cost of the December 10-11, 2021 Tornado Outbreak

In 2021, many of us watched as storms tore apart lives and communities across Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Illinois, and Kentucky. After events of this magnitude, images depicting seas of wreckage where homes and businesses once stood can blind us to the true nature of the loss at hand. Ranging from six days to 98 years of age, a total of 92 people lost their lives during the tornado event. They were cherished as friends or family by thousands. This article details the stories of every one of those people, as well as all of the 23 significant tornadoes that formed during this event.

Vicksburg, MS F5 Tornado – December 5, 1953

‘They had always said Vicksburg would never have a tornado because of the river’ – Marie Renaud, survivor of the 1953 Vicksburg Tornado. Marie was interviewed by the NWS Jackson for the 60th anniversary of the tornado. She was 11 years old when the tornado hit. She, like many Vicksburg, MS residents believed that the river would protect them from a tornado. Unfortunately, on December 5, 1953, a destructive twister crossed over the Mighty Mississippi and directly hit the town of Vicksburg.

LaPlace, LA F4 Tornado – December 6, 1983

One of the strongest tornadoes to ever hit in Southeastern Louisiana occurred on December 6, 1983. The tornado was rated F4 on the Fujita Scale. This damage was found at the Belle Pointe Subdivision. Several homes had their foundations swept clean. Per Storm Data, the tornado was not given an F5 rating, “because the walls were nailed to the foundation, not bolted.”

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