Being right in the center of Tornado Alley, Texas has seen some extreme tornadoes in its history. All of them ranging from the weakest to the strongest (F0-F5 or EF0-EF5). The strongest category is an F5; and Waco, Texas has the record of being the site of the first ever officially recorded F5 tornado.

Waco, Texas will never forget the 1953 F5 tornado

On May 11, 1953, around 4pm, a deadly F5 tornado would touch down near Lorena, Texas and would start its journey heading northeast. The tornado would plow its way through Downtown Waco, destroying anything it could in its path. Now video cameras did not pick up the tornado itself; only the aftermath. Judging by the photos, you can easily tell this was a MASSIVE storm.

mywacotv via YouTube
mywacotv via YouTube
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mywacotv via YouTube
mywacotv via YouTube
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mywacotv via YouTube
mywacotv via YouTube
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mywacotv via YouTube
mywacotv via YouTube
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However, there DOES exist a radio broadcast made shortly after the tornado passed through the city. The radio station, WACO, was able to use an emergency generator to bring people the coverage of what happened that day.

As a result, 114 people were killed & nearly 600 people were injured. 600 homes/businesses were destroyed & over 1000 buildings were damaged. In total, the F5 tornado caused over $41 million worth of damages in 1953, which is roughly $476,530,561.80 in today's money. Baylor University even posted a great map of all the areas that were affected back in 1953.

Even today you can see the impact made back in 1953; for example, the Dr. Pepper Museum has a different colored section of the building to repair the damages made by the tornado.

Google Maps
Google Maps
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While it's hard to say when exactly the first F5 tornado was ever seen in history; for example the 1925 Tri State Tornado was also considered an F5 tornado but the technology to classify how powerful the storm was, just wasn't around back then. Not to mention there may have been several F5 tornados to hit the United States in history.

But what we DO know is that the 1953 Waco Tornado is widely considered to be the first OFFICAL F5 since the introduction of the Fujita Scale. And this will be a day that Waco (and Texas) will never forget...

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