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Max rating F4 tornado
1953 Worcester tornado wwwassumptionustornado1953after1jpg
Formed June 9, 1953 4:25 pm—5:43 pm (EST)
Damage $52 million (1956 USD)$464 million (2014 USD)
Casualties Fatalities:Official: 90Unofficial: 94Injuries: ~1,300

The 1953 Worcester tornado was an extremely powerful tornado that struck the city and surrounding area of Worcester, Massachusetts on June 9, 1953. It was part of the Flint–Worcester tornado outbreak sequence, which occurred over a three-day period from June 6—9, 1953. The storm stayed on the ground for nearly 90 minutes, traveling 48 milesacross Central Massachusetts. In total, 94 people were killed, making it the 21st deadliest tornado in the history of the United States. In addition to the fatalities, over 1,000 people were injured and 4,000 buildings were damaged. The tornado caused $52 million in damage, which translates to $349 million today when adjusted for currency inflation. After the Fujita scale was developed in 1971, the storm was classified as "F4", the second highest rating on the scale

At approximately 4:25 pm (EST), the tornado touched down in a forest near the town of Petersham, and proceeded to move through Barre, where two people were killed. It then moved through the western suburbs of Worcester, where 11 more people were killed. The storm then passed through Worcester, where it destroyed Assumption College and several other buildings, killing 60. After striking Worcester, it killed 21 more people in the towns of Shrewsbury, Southborough, and Westborough, before dissipating over Framingham. According to National Weather Service estimates, over 10,000 people were left homeless as a result of the tornado.

Forecasters at the National Weather Service office in Boston believed that there was a possibility for tornadic activity in the area, but decided not to include it in their forecast for the day in fear that they would cause panic among local citizens. 1953 was the first year that tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings were used, so forecasters compromised and issued the first severe thunderstorm watch in the history of Massachusetts. Because of this, the tornado struck with little to no warning for residents.

At 5:08 P.M., the tornado entered Worcester and grew to a width of 1 mi (1.6 km). Damage was phenomenal in Worcester (second-largest city in Massachusetts) and in some areas equaled the worst damage in any U.S. tornado. Hardest-hit areas included Assumption College (building is now home to Quinsigamond Community College), where a priest and two nuns were killed. The main building's 3-foot (0.91 m)-thick brick walls were reduced by three floors, and the landmark tower lost three stories. A nearby storage tank, weighing several tons, was lofted and tossed across a road by the tornado. The nearby Burncoat Hill neighborhood saw heavy devastation (especially on its western slope), but it was the Uncatena-Great Brook Valley neighborhoods to the east of Burncoat Hill that were utterly leveled, with the tornado possibly reaching F5 intensity in this area. Houses simply vanished, with the debris granulated and scattered well away from the foundations. Entire rows of homes were swept away in some areas.

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