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May 20, 1916, 1917 and 1918: Tornadoes are a weather reality that millions of Americans have learned to live with. Those living in the Midwest and Southeast regions of the United States have come to expect at least a few twisters every year. Depending on the intensity, the path, tornadoes result in varying degrees of damage, and sometimes, most tragically, even in death. According to statistics from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration the odds of being killed in a tornado in a given year are 1 in 5,693,092. Only 2% of tornadoes result in the loss of human life. 1 in 1,000 tornadoes documented in the United States are the strongest level, Category 5 tornadoes. While the combined totals of EF4 and EF5 tornadoes make up less than 1% of all tornadoes, together they contribute nearly 70% of all of the deaths caused by tornadoes. Odds focusing on a particular location getting hit by a tornado more than once are hard to come by. Some would argue that the odds never change, that’s it like flipping a coin and each separate weather situation presents the same odds. But don’t talk to the folks in Cordell, Kansas about tornado odds. For 3 consecutive years on May 20, 1916, May 20 1917 and May 20 1918 incredibly a tornado struck the town.
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