The biggest tornado ever recorded was the Tri-State Tornado, which struck parts of Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana on March 18, 1925. The tornado had a width of nearly 2.6 miles (4.2 kilometers) and produced wind speeds estimated at up to 318 miles (512 kilometers) per hour. It killed 695 people and injured more than 2,000 others, making it the deadliest tornado in U.S. history.
The El Reno tornado packed winds of up to 296 mph, making it the most powerful and destructive tornado ever recorded. It created a path of destruction over 17.1 miles long and 2.6 miles wide, razing everything in its wake. Its sheer size made it the widest tornado ever documented, traveling further and faster than any other twister before or since. The area’s population density also made it especially dangerous; its proximity to Oklahoma City meant that hundreds were at risk if the tornado were to veer off course. Luckily, no lives were lost in this tragedy, but many homes and businesses were destroyed when they failed to withstand the extreme force of Mother Nature’s fury.