PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The deadliest tornado to ever hit west of the Rocky Mountains touched down in Portland just before 1 p.m. on April 5th, 1972. 50 years ago.

From first contact with the ground west of the airport, it crossed the Columbia River and wiped out homes, businesses and schools in several Vancouver, Washington neighborhoods.

When the sun came back out, 6 people were dead and hundreds were injured.

These are the stories of the storm, those who survived, and how things might be different today.

One Day in April

A KOIN.com Special Report