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June 28, 1924: Lorain Tornado

Link to enlarged image. The deadliest tornado in Ohio history struck Lorain and Sandusky on Saturday, June 28, 1924. This was not the largest or strongest tornado to occur in Ohio, but the violent storm struck an urban center where thousands of people were put at risk. There were 85 fatalities, 72 of which occurred in Lorain.

The Lorain Tornado formed over Sandusky Bay and passed eastward, striking the northern edge of Sandusky at 4:35 PM. A nine city block area was damaged, bounded by Adams, Market, Washington Park, and the waterfront. One hundred homes and 25 businesses were destroyed in Sandusky. There were eight deaths in Sandusky.

The tornado continued over Lake Erie before coming ashore at the Lorain Municipal Bath House in Lakeview Park. Buildings were damaged for 35 blocks along Broadway and at least 200 automobiles were buried in bricks and other debris. More than 1000 homes were damaged and 500 destroyed in Lorain. All downtown businesses sustained some damage. The death toll of 15 in the State Theater is the most ever killed by a tornado in one building in Ohio. Dozens of doctors and hundreds of nurses arrived in Lorain Saturday night from Cleveland to attend to the injured. A second tornado touched down west of Vickery in Sandusky County and traveled eastward toward Castalia. Another formed over Huron Township in Erie County. A fourth tornado touched down at about 6 PM near Geauga Lake and traveled 20 miles across northern Portage County. Three farmers were killed in their milking barns north of Mantua.


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