Joplin, Missouri….Tuscaloosa, Alabama….Moore, Oklahoma…Wallingford, Connecticut? When people think tornado, most think of the mid-west, but our state has had it’s share of devistation.
If we were here 136 years ago we would be right smack in the middle of the tornadoes path.
Meet Robert Hubbard, the man who literally wrote the book on Connecticut’s Deadliest Tornadoes.
We get twisters in Connecticut, typically smaller ones…they cause some damage (pause for nats on 072814072 clip) but none as catistropic as the tornado in Wallingford back in 1878.
Most experts say it would have been an F4 and in the history of Connecticut there have only been about 4 f4’s. One in the 1700s, this one in the 1800s, and two in the 1900s. One in Hamden and in in Windsor, Windsor Locks.
You never would assume that with the beautiful shot you see behind me and on a day that was just like today, so tranquil and so beautiful would end with a tornado that touched down right behind me and dozens of people being killed in the town of Wallingford.
At about 5:30 that evening, August 9th, that factory let its workers out.
And they said well let’s let them out, the storm is coming so they don’t have to walk home in the rain. Well that’s the worst thing that could have happened to them.
The tornado formed on what is now called Community Lake in Wallingford, traveled north and then took an unfortunate b-line east right towards the center of the town.
Over in this area right here of about 35 acres it killed 34 people.
On those two streets there were only two houses remaining. Everything else was flattened.
The Wallingford Tornado of 1878 took less than two minutes, but killed at a rate of one person per second. Just one physical marking remains from the storm…a gravestone marking the death of a mother and daughter killed in the tornado.