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

Last year, 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.

Murphysboro, IL F4 Tornado – December 18, 1957

A total of 25 tornadoes occurred on December 17, 1957, all in Illinois or Missouri. Two were later rated F4 and 1 was given an F5 rating. In this summary, we look at an F4 that traveled close to 30 miles through parts of Jackson, Williamson and Franklin Counties in Illinois. Per Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes, the path followed closely to a section of the great Tri-State Tornado of March 18, 1925.

Plainfield, IL F5 Tornado – August 28, 1990

It was the deadliest and most damaging tornado of 1990. An unusual, late August F5 tornado crossed just over 16 miles in less than 30 minutes across parts of Kendall and Will Counties in Illinois. It caused an estimated $165 million in damages. A total of 470 homes were destroyed and another 1000 were damaged. 29 people were killed and 350 more were injured.

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