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Today MAY 31ST, 1889-A defective earthen dam fails in Pennsylvania after a storm dumps a trillion gallons of water within hours in a 12,000 sq. mi. area; 5 billion gallons of wild water rush down a mountainside, destroying the city of Johnstown and killing 2,209 persons in the Johnstown Flood --- still considered one of the worst disasters in U.S. history.
 
MAY 31ST, 1985-Severe thuunderstorms spawned forty-one tornadoes across the Lower Great Lakes Region and southeastern Ontario which killed 74 persons.
 
Previously
May 30 MAY 30TH, 1879-A major outbreak of severe weather occurred in Kansas and western Missouri. In Kansas, tornadoes killed eighteen persons at Delphos, and thirty persons at Irving. Two tornadoes struck the town of Irving within a few minutes time virtually wiping the small Kansas community off the map. The second tornado was perhaps two miles wide, and exhibited multiple vortices.
 
MAY 30TH, 1948-A railroad bed acting as a dam gave way during a flood along the Columbia River destroying the town of Vanport OR. The nearly 19,000 residents escaped with little more than the clothes on their backs.
 
May 29 MAY 29TH, 1914-A small Norwegian collier, the Storstad, rams and sinks the Canadian liner Empress of Ireland in the fog enshrouded St. Lawrence River, about 180 miles out to sea. Of the 1477 persons aboard both vessels, only 453 survive.
 
MAY 29TH, 1987-Thunderstorms in West Texas produced softball size hail at Lamesa, and hail up to twelve inches deep east of Dimmitt. Thunderstorms also spawned seven tornadoes in West Texas, including one which injured three persons at Wolfforth. Thunderstorms deluged the Texas Hill Country with up to eleven inches of rain. Severe flooding along the Medino, Hondo, Seco, Sabinal and Frio rivers caused more than fifty million dollars damage
 
May 28 MAY 28TH, 1942-The latest snowstorm of record for the state of Iowa left ten inches at LeMars, eight inches at Cherokee, and 7.5 inches at Waukon. Afternoon highs were in the lower 30s in parts of northwestern Iowa.
 
MAY 28TH, 1947-A storm produced heavy snow across Wisconsin, with ten inches reported at Gay Mills. The snow damaged fruit and other trees, and downed power lines. The storm was followed by the coldest weather of the month for much of the High Plains Region and Missouri Valley. Williston ND reported a low of 21 degrees the morning of the 28th, and the next morning Cheyenne WY reported a morning low of 16 above zero.
 
May 27 MAY 27TH, 1987-Severe thunderstorms in West Texas produced baseball size hail at Crane, hail up to three and a half inches in diameter at Post, and grapefruit size hail south of Midland. Five days of flooding commenced in Oklahoma. Thunderstorms produced 7 to 9 inches of rain in central Oklahoma. Oklahoma City reported 4.33 inches of rain in six hours. Up to six inches of rain caused flooding in north central Texas.
 
MAY 27TH, 1896-A massive tornado struck Saint Louis MO killing 306 persons and causing thirteen million dollars damage. The tornado path was short, but cut across a densely populated area. It touched down six miles west of Eads Bridge in Saint Louis and widened to a mile as it crossed into East Saint Louis. The tornado was the most destructive of record in the U.S. up until that time. It pierced a five-eighths inch thick iron sheet with a two by four inch pine plank. A brilliant display of lightning accompanied the storm.
 
May 26 MAY 26TH, 1771-A famous Virginia flood occurred as heavy rains in the mountains brought all rivers in the state to record high levels.
 
MAY 26TH, 1917-A tornado touched down near Louisiana MO about noon and remained on the ground for a distance of 293 miles, finally lifting seven hours and twenty minutes later in eastern Jennings County IN. The twister cut a swath of destruction two and a half miles wide through Mattoon IL. There were 101 persons killed in the tornado, including 53 at Mattoon, and 38 at Charleston IL. Damage from the storm totalled 2.5 million dollars.
 
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