By: condensed from a National Weather Service summary
UNDATED - Today is the 40th anniversary of the worst tornado outbreak during the 20th century.
The “Super Outbreak,” as it is known, featured 148 tornadoes in a 24 hour period from 1:00 PM EST April 3rd to 1:00 PM EST on April 4th, 1974. There were 315+ fatalities, over 5000 injuries, and an estimated $600+ million loss (in 1974 dollars).
The longest - the Monticello tornado – began near Brookston in White County, decimated downtown Monticello, and caused significant damage in Rochester.
Heading northeast at 55 miles per hour, it passed between Ligonier and Topeka. Numerous buildings were heavily damaged including the Monsanto plant and Perry School.
The tornado’s demise came just southeast of Lagrange near Oliver Lake, ending the 109 mile path of death and destruction. Another weaker F1 tornado, which touched down just southwest of Plato, quickly dissipated 8 miles to the northeast near Mongo. Of the 16 deaths caused by the storm, one was in Noble County.
Two other significant tornadoes that affected what is now the Northern Indiana forecast area were the Angola and Hillsdale tornadoes.
The complete summary of the Super Outbreak can be found on the National Weather Service website