Nine Died In April 1974 Windsor Tornado

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Windsor Curling Club - From Windsor Star Archives
Damage at Windsor Curling Club - From Windsor Star archives

April 3, 1974 is a day that made weather history. 148 tornadoes hit 13 states and Ontario on that day and in the early morning hours of the next day. Meteorologists call it the Super Outbreak.

In the aftermath, much of the nation’s attention was focused on the devastation in Xenia, Ohio where a massive tornado had nearly wiped out the town. 33 died there.

Five tornadoes hit Michigan.

But in the dozens of books or documentaries about that historic day, seldom will you find a mention of what happened just across the river from Detroit.

A tornado formed over Flat Rock the evening of April 3rd, crossed the Detroit River, and hit Windsor. Nine people were killed when the twister hit the Windsor Curling Club. Thirty others were injured.

Here’s how the aftermath sounded on the CBC:

Rob Miller has clear memories of the storm. He’s recently retired as the Executive Producer of News for CBC Radio Windsor. He spoke with WDET’s Jerome Vaughn.