The tornado that tore through El Reno, Okla. last week, taking away 18 lives, was the widest ever recorded.

The 2.6 mile across tornado was upgraded to a top-of-the-scale EF5 twister with winds reaching 295 mph, the National Weather Service reported Tuesday.

It was the second of the extremely rare EF5 storms to strike the area in less than two weeks.

Another deadly twister struck the town of Moore, Okla. on May 20, leaving 24 people dead.

More from GlobalPost: Oklahoma tornadoes, flooding kill at least 9 (VIDEO)

El Reno Mayor Matt White said that his city of 18,000 residents could have been hit much harder if the storm had struck further north.

"If it was two more miles this way, it would have wiped out all of downtown, almost every one of our subdivisions and almost all of our businesses," White told CBS News. "It would have taken out everything.

"It's very scary ... I don't think a normal person can fathom just how scary. I don't think they realize how lucky El Reno was," he added.

The twister was measured by a mobile radar unit as the storm passed south of El Reno near Highway 81, according to the National Weather Service.

The measurement does not include the winds surrounding the storm.

Previously, the 2.5 mile wide tornado that devastated Hallam, Neb. on May 22, 2004 held the record for the widest storm.

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