(KTEN) – May 3, 1999 is a day that many Oklahomans have not forgotten. Several supercells produced large and destructive tornadoes touched down in central Oklahoma and wreaked havoc through the late afternoon and evening.

Damage from a tornado that tore through a town in central Oklahoma


More than 70 tornadoes were observed with some tornadoes occurring during the morning and early afternoon of May 4, 1999.

Tracks of each tornado that touched down on May 3-4, 1999


With this, the May 3-4, 1999 tornado outbreak remains the largest ever recorded in the Sooner State. Forty people in Oklahoma tragically lost their lives and another 675 people were injured. The total damage was estimated to be $1.2 billion.

A woman and her child take cover under an overpass as a tornado looms in the background


The first ever Tornado Emergency was issued during the event. The alert was issued for the last ever F5 tornado to be rated on the original Fujita scale.

The first Tornado Emergency ever issued


Damage in Bridge Creek and Norman, Oklahoma, allowed the National Weather Service to determine the F5 rating. The most notable damage observed was asphalt pavement about 1 inch thick being peeled away from a section of rural road EW125.

The F5 rated Bridge Creek, OK tornado