Between the 21st and 23rd days of March in 1913, an extensive tornado outbreak spanning numerous states wreaked havoc in many areas. Omaha, Nebraska, was particularly hard-hit. Over 241 deaths were recorded, with injuries also in the hundreds. The tornado did not discriminate; the homes of both rich and poor were targeted. Churches and bars alike were destroyed. Estimates today claim the storm to have been either F4 or F5 in severity.
In perusing the images below, I was struck by the fact that the severity of the storm served to illustrate how much better construction was over a hundred years ago; few modern houses could survive an F4 as well as many of the houses in Omaha did. While many houses were, in fact, reduced to splinters, a good many of them held together fairly well considering the circumstances.
Many publishers and entrepreneurs were quick to document the damage with photographs and publish “souvenier” type books voyeuristically depicting the damage. Here are just a handful of those images as we look back one hundred and ten years to the day… an Easter Sunday.