Rash of tornadoes may be US’s worst

A room is exposed in a destroyed house in the devastated town of Pleasant Grove, Alabama.

The tornado outbreak that killed at least 327 people in the Southeast last week may have been the largest in U.S. history, with an estimated 305 twisters, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

More than 600 tornadoes formed in all of April, compared with the previous record of 267 set in 1974, the agency said in a statement today. That makes April 2011 the most active month ever, breaking the record of 542 tornadoes in May 2003.

“So far, there have been an estimated 881 tornadoes in 2011,” NOAA said. “The annual tornado record is 1,817, set in 2004. May is historically the most active month for tornadoes.”

The deadliest year in the U.S. was 1925 when 794 people were killed, according to NOAA.


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