On March 3, 1966, one of the most devastating tornadoes in Mississippi history occurred. This tornado would come to be known as the “Candlestick Park” tornado, named after a shopping center in south Jackson which was totally destroyed by the tornado. One of only two documented F5 (the most violent on the Fujita scale) tornadoes to strike Mississippi in the 20th century, this tornado carved a path of destruction across central and east central Mississippi. The worst damage occurred in parts of Hinds, Rankin, Scott, and Leake counties, where a total of 57 people were killed and over 500 were injured.
This was the deadliest, most damaging, and longest track (202.5 miles) tornado in central Mississippi during the 20th century. To commemorate this event and help remember those who were affected by this tragic tornado, the National Weather Service in Jackson will be holding a Candlestick Park tornado commemoration week the week of February 27th. Each day, the NWS will be working with our partners in the media and emergency management to publicize an aspect of the Candlestick Park tornado and tornadoes in Mississippi. This week will then culminate with a commemoration ceremony on March 3rd, the 40th anniversary of the tornado.
Below are the writeups for the week:
Monday, February 27th - Candlestick Park Tornado: The Impact
Tuesday, February 28th – Socioeconomic Changes Along the Tornado’s Path: 1966 to 2006
Wednesday, March 1st – Weather Technology: Then and Now
Thursday, March 2nd – Other Violent Tornadoes in Mississippi History
Friday, March 3rd – The 40th Anniversary Ceremony; 10 am at Candlestick Park Shopping Center.
For more information regarding this event, please contact the NWS in Jackson at 601-936-2189. If you are a Candlestick Park survivor and would be interested in sharing your memories of the Candlestick Park Tornado, please call us or send us an e-mail.
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In the future, more information/data may be added to the web page along with possible damage photographs, personal accounts and tornado path maps.