TUPELO TORNADOS In 1936, Tupelo was hit by a devastating tornado. More than 800 homes and many business across forty-eight city blocks were destroyed. The storm killed more than 200 people, although some sources indicate the death toll was closer to 300, due to the unreported deaths of minorities. Modern scientists have given the 1936 Tupelo tornado an EF5 ranking, the highest and most destructive in the scale. From official reports at the time, wind speeds were estimated to have exceeded 260 miles per hour. PHOTO COURTESY OF OREN DUNN CITY MUSEUM, 1936 TUPELO TORNADO 404 A BICENTENNIAL HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI