DOVER – Monday, April 23 marks the 50 year anniversary of a devastating tornado that tore the community of Dover, Kentucky apart.
On April 23, 1968, an outbreak of tornados struck the Ohio Valley area and other sections of the U.S. midwest. In total, 14 tornados were confirmed, with one tearing through the community of Dover in Mason County.
According to the Augusta, Kentucky Historic District, the tornado demolished or badly ruined every building in town except for a single house.
“Out of the 127 homes in the community 115 could not be saved,” a social media post by the historic district read. “Churches and businesses were destroyed. Only the general store was partially spared – the dry goods portion of the shop lost its roof, but the grocery section was able to continue business.”
No one in Dover was killed and only two were seriously injured, although 14 in total were killed by other tornados in the outbreak in several Ohio and Kentucky counties, including Mason, Bracken, Brown and Adams counties.
The youth center at the time was destroyed as well as the school in Dover. According to the Augusta Historic District, the school in Dover was also destroyed, causing students to have to be transported to Maysville to continue their education.
According to the historic society, DuPont had secured land for their new company in Dover before the tornado. After the tornado, that land was sold to local farmers who grew corn and tobacco.
Heavy damage was produced by the tornado that struck Dover. It was officially listed as an F4 on the Fujita scale of tornado intensity, but research done on the subject said that it very well could have been an F5, the largest possible tornado on the scale.