121 Years Ago; Fort Smith Was Destroyed By A Tornado

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While cold weather has swept across the area for January 11th, 2019, the weather was vastly different on the night of January 11th, 1898… some 121 years ago. The weather that day was said to be warmer than usual. Around midnight that night, a tornado flattened the city killing 55 and injuring hundreds.

The tornado is still the second deadliest tornado on record in the state of Arkansas. The worst being the Judsonia Outbreak of 1952.

The Fort Smith Elevator, the local newspaper at the time, shows the path of the destruction across town.

Judge Parker’s home was destroyed and would later be the home of the Carnegie Library, and later 5NEWS’ Fort Smith Studio.

The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration archived photos in their database for historical purposes. I retrieved them and included them in this post to share with you.

12th & A Street

Tenth Street

“Texas Corner”

Looking North on Reserve Addition

North 13th & D Street

Garrison Ave

South 6th Street

Towson Ave

Between Garrison Avenue & A Street

NE From Catholic Hall

New Fort Smith High School After Tornado

Fort Smith High School Before Tornado


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