Flint, Beecher, and Other Towns, MI and OH Tornadoes, June 1953
FLINT TORNADO KILLS 113.
SIX ROARING TWISTERS HIT MICHIGAN AND OHIO; STATE'S 'WORST' DISASTER.
FEAR THAT DEATH TOLL MAY STILL GO HIGHER; WILLIAMS ASKS IKE TO DECLARE AN EMERGENCY.
Flint, Mich. (AP) -- Six roaring tornadoes, their blackclouded funnels dealing multi-million dollar destruction, ripped furiously through parts of Michigan and Ohio last night, killing 139 and injuring 750.
The most deadly of the shrieking windstorms flung full force against Flint, a heavily industrialized city of 163,000 about 70 miles north of Detroit. In Flint alone at least 113 persons were killed.
Forty houses in one Flint street were flattened like pancakes. Many mangled bodies were found today in the wreckage of homes.
The tornadoes shot the nations spring twister toll to 358 dead. Alabama, Texas and Oklahoma have been hit hard recently.
The new tornado struck Michigan while the state was still cleaning up the May 21 twister that whirled through the outskirts of Port Huron, Mich., and jumped the St. Clair River and tore through Sarnia, Ont.
The first tornado lashed Erie, Mich., just over the Michigan-Ohio line from Toledo, O., at 5:25 p.m. (CST). At 7:10 p.m. a twister hedge-hopped through Washtenaw County, 35 miles to the north and swept into Milford, Oakland County, 15 miles to the northeast. Tawas City, midway up the eastern coast of Michigan on Lake Huron, was hit at 7:25 p.m. and Flint at 7:45 p.m.
The tornado area extended from Tawas City down across the Ohio-Michigan border to Bowling Green -- a path of 350 miles.
Ten persons died in the twister that struck the Cygnet, O., area. Eight died in the Cleveland area; and one each at Elyria and Ceylon.
Michigan fatalities, in addition to those at Flint, included four dead at Erie; four dead at Tawas City; one at Ann Arbor; and one in Brown City, near Lapeer.
Flint hospitals were filled with the injured -- many crowded into corridors still stunned by the swift destruction that hit their homes.
National Guard troops, state police and police officers from numerous Michigan cities converted on the Flint area to aid in the rescue work. Gov. G. Mennen Williams took personal command but did not declare a state of martial law.
The Flint tornado killed many in homes on Coldwater Road and Kurtz Street, before it hedge-hopped eastward through Michigan's "thumb" toward Lake Huron.