1946 Windsor–Tecumseh tornado

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Windsor–Tecumseh Tornado of 1946
F4 tornado
The Windsor Tornado, taken at Windsor Airport looking northwest towards downtown and Detroit.
FormedJune 17, 1946 Around 6:00 PM. EDT (2200 UTC)
Max rating1F4 tornado
Damage$9.663 million[1]
($137 million in 2018 dollars[2])
Casualties17 fatalities
Areas affectedWindsor, Ontario, La Salle, Ontario, Tecumseh, Ontario and surrounding area
1Most severe tornado damage; see Fujita scale

The Windsor–Tecumseh Tornado of 1946 was the most powerful tornado to hit Windsor, Ontario, being an F4 in strength, touching down on June 17 of that year. The tornado touched down near River Rouge, Michigan, then crossed the Detroit River and made landfall in the Brighton Beach neighbourhood of Windsor. It then cut across southern Windsor and northern Sandwich West Township, Ontario (now the Municipality of LaSalle, Ontario), along a path 60 kilometres (40 mi) in length. It also cut across Highway 3 before weakening somewhat. The storm then touched down as an F4 again at the modern-day intersection of Walker Road and Grand Marais Road, near the center of the city.

Path of destruction[edit]

Windsor–Tecumseh tornado viewed from Garland's Seaplane Base on the Detroit side of the Detroit River looking towards Peche Isle (photo by Harry G. Garland).

The tornado took a northeastward path, cutting through farmland and forest, an area with few housing subdivisions (at the time, but still many homes), and narrowly missing Windsor Airport (which was located just south of the tornado), before tearing through the northwest part of the Town of Tecumseh, Ontario and dissipating over Lake St. Clair.

The storm's path was roughly 30 metres (100 ft) wide, and followed Turkey Creek for much of its length after crossing the Detroit River, and travelled 60 km. The storm's damage ranged from F3-F4, to some speculated F5 damage from completely destroyed houses that were lifted off their foundations.

Since the tornado had cut power to The Windsor Star's main printing offices downtown the Detroit News offered to help them print their newspapers at their printing facilities until the Star's were repaired, and even gave the Star priority so they could report the news of the tornado to the cities of Windsor, Detroit, and the rest of Ontario.

The tornado knocked out power to most of the city for about a day, and damaged or destroyed roughly 400 homes in Windsor.

Radio reports[edit]

Though Windsor had CKLW as a radio station from Detroit, Michigan, there were no records kept from them. CBC Toronto was the only radio station that has kept their archives for the reports on this event. CBC Archives helps to explain what happened in Windsor the day after on Windsor, Ont. struck by tornado in 1946. The report explains what happened, how many were killed, how citizens feel and even what was stolen and who came out to help. In addition to this report, there were many reports to explain how the tornado was formed for this tornado. The reports also hold onto interviews from people who viewed the tornado first hand. [3] [4]


After the tornado, civility and order were quickly restored by the police.[citation needed] Many accounts of the tornado were told over the radio (notably, CKLW, which was Windsor's CBC radio affiliate at the time), and the Ontario Provincial Government even explained the conditions that are favourable for tornado development, to alleviate the public's fears of an "epidemic of tornadoes", especially since one week later, a tornado struck the towns of Fort Frances and International Falls.[5]

It was also just half a mile from the same spot the Windsor Tornado of 1974 touched down.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Historical Tornado-Related Events - Atmospheric Hazards Web Site - Ontario - Adaptation and Impacts Research Group - [Meteorological Service of Canada - The Green Lane]
  2. ^ Canadian inflation numbers based on Statistics Canada tables 18-10-0005-01 (formerly CANSIM 326-0021) "Consumer Price Index, annual average, not seasonally adjusted". Statistics Canada. Retrieved March 6, 2019. and 18-10-0004-13 "Consumer Price Index by product group, monthly, percentage change, not seasonally adjusted, Canada, provinces, Whitehorse, Yellowknife and Iqaluit". Statistics Canada. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=4b-LE5UluQcC&dat=19460625&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°17′24″N 82°59′12″W / 42.2900°N 82.9866°W / 42.2900; -82.9866