On May 11, 1953, a destructive force tore through Waco and forever altered the face of the city. The tornado injured 600 people, took 114 lives, and damaged hundreds of businesses. Around 4:30, a tornado touched down southwest of Waco and tore through residential areas. At 4:36, it struck downtown Waco. The F-5 tornado cut a swath nearly one-third of a mile wide with winds up to 260 miles per hour. After tearing through downtown, it exited the city and continued northeast for several more miles. The tornado destroyed 196 buildings, and damaged hundreds of others so badly that they were later torn down. Some, such as the Dr Pepper bottling plant, withstood smaller amounts of damage which the owners later repaired. Outside of downtown, the tornado demolished nearly six hundred homes in East Waco. Though estimates vary, approximately $51 million of property damages occurred. The city received around $9 million in order to aid recovery, including federal assistance, a grant from the Red Cross, and private donations collected by local civic leaders. Some areas of the city never fully recovered.