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The Shinnston Tornado

By Martha A. Lowther

On June 23, 1944, at approximately 8:30 p.m. north central West Virginia was battered by the most powerful tornado ever to enter the state. Starting in an area northwest of Shinnston in Harrison County it screamed across the state until it blew itself out against the strength of Cheat Mountain in Randolph County. Those are the bare facts. But from Shinnston to Cheat Mountain there was a path of destruction left for all to see.

Final count from the tornado was 103 killed and 430 seriously injured. Within those miles of destruction and casualties lie stories of bravery, self-sacrifce, heroism, and the grace of God. Some people would call it fate.

Scene after the tornado

You can read the rest of this article in the Summer 1998 issue of Goldenseal, available in bookstores, libraries or direct from Goldenseal.