April 30 -- 60th anniversary of deadly tornado

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  • By Staff Reports
  • Robins Air Force Base Public Affairs
Today is the 60th anniversary of the tornado that hit Warner Robins, causing 19 deaths, including two at Robins Air Force Base, and more than 350 injuries.

The F4 tornado left hundreds of people without homes and caused millions of dollars in damage.

According to the Fujita tornado scale, which assesses tornado intensity, an F4 carries estimated winds between 207 to 260 miles per hour. The scale ranges from F0 to F5.

"This is still the worst natural disaster to hit Robins Air Force Base, and in terms of deaths the worst tornado to hit Middle Georgia," said Dr. Bill Head, Robins Office of History chief.

According to Head, with little warning the tornado tore a swath about 1,000 feet wide through Warner Robins, Robins Air Force Base and surrounding communities in just 12 minutes.

"Parts of the base were laid waste," said Head. "Much of the North Ziegler Apartment complex, used for military housing, was turned into kindling. Eventually, the area suffered about $10 million in damages. Today, that would translate into hundreds of millions."