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Entries - Entry Category: Climatology - Starting with F

Fort Smith Tornado of 1898

On January 11, 1898, a tornado tore through Fort Smith (Sebastian County) and killed more than fifty people; it is the second-deadliest tornado in Arkansas history. At around 11:00 p.m. on January 11, 1898, a tornado formed in Oklahoma west of Fort Smith and headed toward the city. After crossing the Poteau River, it slammed into the Fort Smith National Cemetery, where it was reported that “huge trees are uprooted, the lodge demolished and the wall torn down.” Marble-sized hail pummeled buildings in the town, including hotels and boarding houses that were packed with travelers because the federal court was in session. The tornado hit Fort Smith’s business district hard, smashing buildings and tearing off roofs before continuing into residential …