ON THIS DAY: May 31, 1985, Tornadoes ravage state, killing 75 people

Today, May 31, still marks the calendar as “Tornado Day” for thousands in western Pennsylvania who lived through the deadliest tornado outbreak in the state’s history.

In 1985, 43 tornadoes tore through Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and Canada, leaving a path of death and destruction that still ranks as one of the deadliest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history.

89 people lost their lives, 75 of those were in the Keystone state. There were more than a thousand injuries and $600 million in damage.

23 of those tornadoes touched down in Pennsylvania over the course of six hours late that afternoon and evening covering more than 450 miles. That’s nearly 100 miles longer than the Pennsylvania Turnpike.​

Seven tornadoes roared through the WPXI viewing area, including an F3 tornado through Beaver and Butler counties killing nine people. It formed southeast of Darlington in Beaver county and raced east until dissipating just south of Sarver in Butler county.

It is still the largest, single-day tornado outbreak in Pennsylvania history.

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