The recent outbreak of tornadoes across the southern United States has devastated hundreds of homes, and lead to a death toll of over 300 people.
The National Weather Service revealed numbers identified an estimated 305 tornadoes in recent weeks, and an estimated 327 deaths so far.
If estimates are correct, this is the largest case of tornadoes in history.
The second largest outbreak occurred on April 3 and 4 of 1974. Nearly 148 tornadoes hit then in many of the same states as this series–leading to the death of about 330 people. April of 1974 saw about 297 tornadoes in all.
So far this year in April there has been roughly 600 tornadoes, and nearly 900 since the beginning of 2011. May of 2003 had the second highest monthly tornado count in United States history at 542.
The year 2004 ranks as the highest amount of recorded tornadoes per year at over 1,800.
Alabama seems to have been hit hardest by the recent tornado outbreak, with nearly 200 of the 327 tornado related deaths located there. Millions of businesses and homes have been left without power.
President Obama visited Alabama shortly after the devastation to meet with Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and to pledge the support of the federal government to help those who have been deeply affected.
“I want every American who has been affected by this disaster to know that the federal government will do everything we can to help you recover, and we will stand with you as you rebuild,” Obama said according to U.S. News.
Not only, however, were homes damaged and destroyed, but the St. Louis Airport was hit hard on April 22 by a tornado that swept through, leaving the airport 70 percent operational after reopening two days later.
The tornado, rated an EF-4 on a scale of five of tornado strength, struck with wind speeds at nearly 200 MPH and tore off the roof of the main terminal, and shook the planes currently on the ground. Many flights were redirected to Kansas City and other nearby airports.
Five people were injured and sent to the hospital after that tornado.
Dianna Merrill told the Associated Press “The ceiling was falling. The glass was hitting us in the face. Hail and rain were coming in. The wind was blowing debris all over the place. It was like being in a horror movie. Grown men were crying. It was horrible.”