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Guin, AL F5 Tornado - April 3, 1974

mon03aprAll DayGuin, AL F5 Tornado - April 3, 1974

Event Details

Utter destruction in a residential neighborhood on the western side of Guin. Photo provided by the City of Guin.

On April 3, 1974, an unprecedented number of violent tornadoes raged through the Ohio River Valley. By evening, over a hundred had died in the Midwest. Even as the sun went down and activity in the northern half of the outbreak drew to a close, new malestroms ravaged the South. No state saw more suffering than Alabama.

It was into this chaotic atmosphere that one of the most notorious twisters in regional history was born. Under the cover of darkness, it sliced for two and a half hours through rural communities between Lowndes County, MS, and Morgan County, AL. When the deadliest single tornado in the state since 1932 finally dissipated, it had claimed 30 Alabamian lives and traveled over a hundred miles. Most notably, the town of Guin, AL, was nearly wiped off the face of the Earth, suffering the most significant loss of life.

While the knowledge of Guin’s fate is deservingly prevalent, intricate details of this disaster have faded over the following decades. Communities such as Yampertown, Delmar, Oakville, Basham, and more, faced great destruction in their own right. Across the entire path, this work aims to share the stories of the survivors, to preserve the memories of the victims, and to document all of the damage and surrounding history..

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