Anniversary Of 1950 Greenville Tornado

A scene from the aftermath of last Saturday's tornadoes in central Illinois.

Saturday was December 2 and as many as 23 tornadoes swept through Central Illinois.

It was 68 years ago to the day, 1950, also a Saturday, that the City of Greenville was hit by a strong tornado which killed two women, injured 25 and caused major damage in the south and southeast part of the city and vicinity.

Over 100 houses were destroyed or damaged beyond repair. The two women who died were in their homes when the tornado hit. Damage was initially estimated at more than three quarters of a million dollars.

Two brothers had stopped the car they were in as the tornado approached. The twister caused the vehicle to overturn several times, but the occupants survived.

Electricity was obviously out in the affected area. The tornado, which arrived about 4 p.m., knocked out all street lights in the city, caused electric lines and poles to fall, and damaged telegraph lines of the Pennsylvania Railroad.

The American Red Cross and Salvation Army moved into Greenville to provide assistance. The Red Cross headquarters was at city hall on North Third Street and on the day after the tornado had 40 families signed up.

Many residents in the area drove to Greenville to see the damage, causing traffic jams in the affected area as first responders were trying to do their jobs.

Members of military organizations volunteered to guard and patrol the damaged area. Extra police officers were also brought in.

Ironically, three and four days later, there was three inches of snow on Greenville and Bond County.

So it was December 2, 2018 when Central Illinois was victimized by numerous tornadoes and December 2, 1950 when Greenville was hit by what was called at the time the worst disaster in Greenville history.

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