Historic Tornado Siege: Reflecting on the Midwest’s Darkest Day, One Year After 115 Twisters

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Keota, IA – As dawn breaks on the anniversary of the historic tornado outbreak that unleashed 115 twisters across the Midwest, communities from Iowa to Ohio pause to remember a day etched in their collective memory. The outbreak’s ferocity was unparalleled, with a high-end EF4 tornado ravaging Keota, Iowa, and destructive EF3s tearing through Tennessee, while Illinois faced a barrage of hail the size of tennis balls.

The aftermath of the March 31, 2023 storm system was staggering: nearly $5.5 billion in damages, power stripped from over a million homes, 26 precious lives lost, and more than 200 people left to nurse their wounds. The Storm Prediction Center’s rare high-risk warning had underscored the impending threat, a prophetic alert that would become a stark reality.

Today, the Midwest reflects not just on the devastation, but on the enduring human spirit that has shone through the rebuilding efforts. The people come together in solemnity and solidarity, their shared experiences woven into a narrative of resilience. 

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