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The Tri-State Tornado: The Story of America's Greatest Tornado Disaster Paperback – July 8, 2004


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The Tri-State Tornado: The Story of America's Greatest Tornado Disaster + The 1925 Tri-State Tornado's Devastation In Franklin County, Hamilton County, And White County, Illinois
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 140 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Inc. (July 8, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595311881
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595311880
  • Product Dimensions: 0.3 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #579,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Peter S. Felknor is a native of Missouri, where he first heard stories of the Tri-State Tornado as a young boy. Accounts of that tornado, and others, helped to develop his early interest in violent storms.Felknor is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he studied meteorology and environmental risk assessment. He lives in southern Wisconsin.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
This book was very informative.
Michael E. Jennnings
The author does a great job of interweaving interviews from the actual survivors.
Mike
Admittedly, the book needs an update.
William Alexander

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Paul Primrose on September 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
I first read this book while taking a class in severe & unusual weather at the University of Illinois a few years ago. If you're into jaw-dropping weather phenomena, you really need to get this book. There are great interviews with survivors, a few astounding pictures, and some good basic science to back it all up.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mike on March 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
Tornadoes are the most powerful storms on Earth. They may not be the biggest in size, but the destruction they can cause is insurmountable.

The Tri-State Tornado gives the readers the perfect example of how devestating these storms can be. Even in this day in age with our advanced technology, meteorologists have a difficult time understanding the true nature of these storms.

This was evident back in 1925 when that fateful day came when one single tornado had struck three states, killed 689 people, and traveled 219 miles at a rapid pace anywhere between 60-73 miles per hour. No one saw it touch ground or disappear.

The author does a great job of interweaving interviews from the actual survivors. Who better to explain that day than the people who saw this mile plus wide tornado barreling down in front of them.

The Tri-State Tornado remains one of the most bizarre and deadliest tornado to have ever hit the United States.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Lovitt HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on January 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author of "The Tri-State Tornado" doesn't employ a straight narrative-in-time to tell the story of America's greatest tornado disaster. Rather he zigzags back and forth across the path of the 1925 tornado, like a foxhound casting for a scent. After a quick overview of the tornado's track across three Midwestern states, the 14 eyewitness accounts are grouped by first sightings, actual encounters, and aftermaths, whether they occurred in Missouri, Illinois, or Indiana.

This structure emphasizes the commonality of the experience, but detracts from the suspense of the story.

In other words, "The Tri-State Tornado" reads more like a textbook than a dramatic narrative.

However, when this book was first published in 1992, it was one of the first popular accounts of the tornado that had claimed 689 lives and ploughed the longest continuous path across three states that had ever resulted from one of these savage storms.

The eyewitness accounts of the actual storm are extremely gripping, but my favorite section of the book was the narrative of what happened after the tornado had passed. Businesses, charitable organizations, and ordinary American citizens pulled together and rebuilt the farms and villages that had been leveled by the storm. Some of the victims never got over the sheer horror of their experiences, but at least they eventually had a house to return to, a school to attend, and a way to make a living.

Some of the stories are even humorous. This one concerns "the man in Griffin who decided to take cover in the railroad station when he saw the tornado cloud, and later reported: `As I took hold of the doorknob, that storm just naturally jerked the station right out of my hand!'"

"The Tri-State Tornado" is well worth reading for the light it casts on a little-known natural disaster.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Richardson on September 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
The Tri-State tornado is the deadliest tornado to affect the United States since weather records have been kept. Since this event took place in 1925, survivors with a clear memory are becoming few and far between. Fortunately, the author has clearly documented not only the stories of survivors, but the atmospheric conditions that existed during the event and the struggles of attempting forensic meteorology. Considering how sparse the data is for an event so far in the past, I'm pleased that the author was able to accomplish this much. Events like this will happen again and, much to my disappointment, there is no way to determine if the Tri-State tornado was one single tornado track (which it appears to be) or a family of large, violent long-track tornadoes.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Thomas P. Mcauliffe on March 28, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are quite a few stories, books, etc. about this event, but this book is different in a way, with newspaper accounts, and direct information from the survivors and their kin themselves.It's an easy read and one most weather buffs will enjoy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By William Alexander on June 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
Peter Felknor is not an historian, and at the time he wrote this excellent little book, he was studying to become a meteorologist. Still, he manages the historian's dispassion wonderfully well in telling the sorrowful tale of what is, in all liklihood, the most massive tornado yet known and the unlucky caught in its maw.

Admittedly, the book needs an update. Apparently, a debate went on a little while ago about whether or not the "Great Tri-State" was a single massive twister or a "tornadic family" wrapped in a caul of dust, rain, debris and hail. With the advent of GPS, it is my understaning that new evidence suggests that not only was the Tri-State tornado a single mother tornado of unimaginable power, but actually longer in its track than previously supposed. But that scientific debate is really not the tale Felknor sets out to tell. Rather, by accumulating first hand survivor's accounts, and using his meteorological expertise to explain the essential "why" and "how" of this supercell insofar as the available 1992 record allows, Felknor sets out how lives were impacted and changed in the face of the unimaginable. In letting the bare facts and the accounts speak for themselves with an admirable ear for restraint, his narrative flows from encounter, to cost, to aftermath, to resurrection. It is a tale both frightful and yet ennobling, and would, I think, provide especial comfort and wisdom to those who have dealt with similar horrors in the last couple of years.

Restrained, brief, but emotionally wringing, "The Tri-State Tornado" is an excellent little history of an event that many have heard of but too few know anything of.

Highly recommended.
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