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Survivors of tornado 'Super Outbreak' share their stories

The 1974 "Super Outbreak" of tornadoes was one of the deadliest and most destructive spring storm systems recorded in U.S. history. Over the span of two days — April 3-4 — 148 tornadoes were documented across 13 states and Ontario, Canada, resulting in more than 300 deaths, thousands of injuries, and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.

Some of the strongest tornadoes recorded during the event occurred in the Ohio Valley, two of which struck Xenia and Sayler Park, rating at F5 on the Fujita Scale.

On Cincinnati Edition, we’ll hear stories from local survivors and what the outbreak taught us about tornadoes and forecasting.


  • Tom McKee, adjunct instructor of media production, University of Cincinnati
  • Steve Horstmeyer, chief meteorologist, FOX19 NOW
  • Jackie Litchfield Apted, president, Sayler Park Historical Society 
  • Catherine Wilson, executive director, Greene County Ohio Historical Society

The University of Cincinnati is a financial supporter of Cincinnati Public Radio.

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  • Listen on-demand. Audio for this segment will be uploaded to this page by 4 p.m. ET., or subscribe to our podcast.
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