Your Ad Here Your Ad Here
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18

Thread: April 3, 1974: A Day Of Disaster

  1. #1
    FuNkY CaPrIcOrN's Avatar Poster
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky
    Age
    42
    Posts
    7,412
    Image Resized
    http://www.april31974.com/images/parkercity/Tornado1.jpg' width='200' height='120' border='0' alt='click for full size view'></a>

    Image Resized
    [img]http://www.april31974.com/images/alabamatrailerdamage.jpg' width='200' height='120' border='0' alt='click for full size view'>




    Thirty years is a lifetime to many, but what happened in just a few minutes in 1974 is remembered as clearly today as the day it happened.

    There was nothing particularly spectacular about the weather on April 3, 1974. A warm front moving across the area ushered in showers and thunderstorms that morning. By noon, 30 mile-an-hour winds, increasing humidity and temperatures in the upper 70s were forming an explosive weather mix.

    Over a 16-hour period, 148 tornadoes touched down across 13 states. That&#39;s one every six minutes. A phenomenon so rare most of us won&#39;t see it again in our lifetime.

    The first storm was the most severe. It touched down in Brandenburg, Kentucky. David Reeves was on duty at the National Weather Service in 1974. He remembers how delayed warning systems were 30 years ago. "So we put out a warning for Brandenburg. By the time it went through the teletype machinery, it was on them. It was right there."

    When it was over, 31 people including children were dead. A mass funeral was held at the high school because the storm destroyed the town&#39;s church. Within an hour after Brandenburg, five more tornadoes developed, including one in Louisville.

    "There was a spot in the radar and it was headed to Louisville so I put out a warning for Louisville; as simple as that," says Reeves. "It wasn&#39;t that I knew exactly what the atmosphere was doing and all that. I was just trying to keep up with what had been happening and it headed toward us. That was it."

    The National Weather Service had three people on duty that afternoon: a secretary, Chief Meteorologist John Burks and David Reeves. Reeves said, "WHAS radio had called -- this maybe was their second call, because we already had the warning out. He (Burks) happened to be on the phone standing on the roof live looking, and he said something like, &#39;we&#39;re hittin&#39; winds up to...good gracious sakes alive.&#39;" Radio news man Glen Bastin asks Burks, "How high is the wind speed at this time?" Burks answers, "There&#39;s 50 right there. By golly, the whole thing&#39;s goin&#39;. Hear it? I&#39;m goin&#39;&#33; Goodbye&#33;" (phone slams)

    Another person with an up-close look at the F-4 tornado was WHAS radio&#39;s traffic reporter, Dick Gilbert. Gilbert was trapped in the air and told all who could hear him about the destruction he was witnessing. "There is no real tight definitive tornado as such. It&#39;s still turning. Yes, there&#39;s one now. Yes, dipping down from the bottom of the cloud. Now the wind damage hit the roof of freedom hall and it tore three big holes in the roof. The horse barns are no more. It is definitely a..uh..moving up toward the Crescent Hill water tank now."

    The other hard hit area of Louisville was Cherokee Park. 2000 trees were ripped from the ground. It looked as if someone used the park as a bowling alley. But despite the mess, people were confident the park would grow back. In 1974, one Cherokee Park groundskeeper said, "25 years from now I think that there will certainly be evidence that this part of the park is less mature than parts of the park that weren&#39;t hit. 50 years from now I think it will be a pretty mature looking park so that someone who&#39;s in grade school or even high school today has a good chance of seeing it as a mature park."

    The tornado is blamed for three direct deaths. Three other people died as a result of heart attacks. There were a total of 225 injuries reported in Louisville and Jefferson County. 77 people died and 1200 people were injured in the Commonwealth as a result of the tornadoes. The super outbreak caused more than &#036;110 million in damage. We look back and realize how lucky Louisvillians were that day. Our neighbors to the south in Brandenburg were not so fortunate.

    ____________________________________________________________________


    The first storm to hit Kentucky was right here in Brandenburg. The F-5 ripped through the middle of town and by the time it was over 31 people were dead. 30 years later, residents of Brandenburg still remember that day and the devastation left behind.


    A stone marker rests at the front of the Meade County courthouse. The names of the town&#39;s 31 victims are listed here; a permanent reminder of a disaster that 30 years later is still fresh in the minds of its residents.


    "I was at work and when I left it was rainin&#39; just a little bit," Jimmy Brown remembers. "When I got to the top of the hill where the bank is in Brandenburg it started raining. I mean drops that looked like they were two inches across."


    "At the time I drank so I went down, down in town to the beer joint and when I walked in the front door it opened by itself and they both went around and closed it, and it opened again and the awnings in the buildings across the street started up town hill and I said boys we&#39;re in trouble," Brown said.


    Another Brandenburg victim that day was John Fraze. John said, "My wife, today, if it comes up a bad cloud, she&#39;s heading for the storm cellar. She won&#39;t stay in the house." Because of technology at the time, Brandenburg didn&#39;t get a lot of warning about the storm. Fraze says of his family, "The only thing that saved them, they were in the storm cellar. My wife said when she went into the storm cellar she could see funnel clouds, but the sun was shining. She could see two funnel clouds coming."


    Very little of what Main Street looked like was left standing and residents were trying to cope with the devastating scenes awaiting them in neighborhoods.


    "My neighbor and her little granddaughter lived straight across the road from me," says Fraze. "One of them was layin&#39; at the end of my driveway dead. And the little granddaughter was layin&#39; over in the field and they had her covered up at the time I got there. "There was candy bars and cigars, and what have ya&#39;, fallin&#39; down on my head. When it was all over with it didn&#39;t seem to me like it was a minute and when I looked up the sky was shining and everything was gone."


    Thirty years later, the town is rebuilt. The rolling hills along the Ohio River are once again populated with homes, but there are still reminders of that day in April. A historical marker sits outside the old courthouse, a building destroyed by the storm, but still standing today. And remember that picture of the Main Street destruction? A white house and the water tower on the edge of the picture are still here today and those who survived the outbreak of 1974, say it&#39;s something they will never forget.


    "Well, I&#39;m just glad I went down to the beer joint cause if I&#39;d have gone on around I would have run straight into it out there about the cemetery then in Brandenburg," says Brown. "It probably saved my life. it&#39;s something I don&#39;t ever want to see again."





    A total of 39 Kentucky counties were hit by tornadoes. The 1974 outbreak is still considered the worst in U.S. history.

    Kentucky Stats:

    77 people dead

    1200 injured

    &#036;110 million in damage



    <a href='http://www.april31974.com/]http://www.april31974.com/

    http://www.whas11.com/

  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Oh, please...
    Posts
    15,254
    I remember that day very well.

    Been a tornado buff since I was a kid.

    The word AWESOME applies (the original meaning, not the one currently abused by those who use it to describe such things as a good bottle of beer, or a nice car).
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
    kAb's Avatar Poster
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    2,656
    Originally posted by j2k4@30 March 2004 - 22:26
    I remember that day very well.

    Been a tornado buff since I was a kid.

    The word AWESOME applies (the original meaning, not the one currently abused by those who use it to describe such things as a good bottle of beer, or a nice car).
    As in incredible, not in a good nor bad way

    Tornados are very strange. Don&#39;t have them here in California, don&#39;t have much of any disaster except fires here. And those just happen in socal.

  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Oh, please...
    Posts
    15,254
    Originally posted by kAb+30 March 2004 - 23:31--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (kAb @ 30 March 2004 - 23:31)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-j2k4@30 March 2004 - 22:26
    I remember that day very well.

    Been a tornado buff since I was a kid.

    The word AWESOME applies (the original meaning, not the one currently abused by those who use it to describe such things as a good bottle of beer, or a nice car).
    As in incredible, not in a good nor bad way

    Tornados are very strange. Don&#39;t have them here in California, don&#39;t have much of any disaster except fires here. And those just happen in socal. [/b][/quote]
    Yes, you&#39;re up north, eh?

    I&#39;ve seen several small twisters, but only one big one (humongous wedge, had to be a half-mile across), sweeping across the empty plain in southwest Nebraska.

    Middle of nowhere; I thought it was just a rain curtain coming toward me, until it changed direction and missed my location by about a quarter-mile or so.

    It was beyond description.

    Never heard whether it did any damage; the area I was in was utterly empty, not even any traffic at the time.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  5. The Drawing Room   -   #5
    FuNkY CaPrIcOrN's Avatar Poster
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky
    Age
    42
    Posts
    7,412
    Image Resized
    Image Resized
    [img]http://store7.yimg.com/I/yhst-91779105942260_1782_1423006.jpg' width='200' height='120' border='0' alt='click for full size view'>

    "Tornado: A Look Back at Louisville’s Dark Day, April 3, 1974" will be released this Saturday at a special 30th annerversity in downtown Louisville.More than 50 people whose accounts are included in the hardback pictorial book.176 Pages.

    "This book is a 30th anniversary look back at the tornado which tore a path of destruction across Louisville, Kentucky on April 3, 1974. The story is told through never-before-seen photographs and the moving recollections of people whose homes and lives were torn apart that day by the violent tornado."

    http://store.butlerbooks.com/tolobaatloda.html

    &#036;35?I think I will just wait and get it at discount.Looks nice though.

  6. The Drawing Room   -   #6
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Oh, please...
    Posts
    15,254
    Originally posted by FuNkY CaPrIcOrN@31 March 2004 - 07:37
    &#036;35?I think I will just wait and get it at discount.Looks nice though.
    He&#39;s just tryin&#39; to cash in, FC.

    It&#39;s the American way.

    &#036;35 is a bit steep, though.

    Lots of picture plates, I imagine.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  7. The Drawing Room   -   #7
    MagicNakor's Avatar On the Peripheral
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    5,401
    &#036;51. 47 for the fire-book here. &#036;39.27 USD.

    I&#39;d rather the tornado book.

    things are quiet until hitler decides he'd like to invade russia
    so, he does
    the russians are like "OMG WTF D00DZ, STOP TKING"
    and the germans are still like "omg ph34r n00bz"
    the russians fall back, all the way to moscow
    and then they all begin h4xing, which brings on the russian winter
    the germans are like "wtf, h4x"
    -- WW2 for the l33t

  8. The Drawing Room   -   #8
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Oh, please...
    Posts
    15,254
    Originally posted by MagicNakor@31 March 2004 - 09:16
    &#036;51. 47 for the fire-book here. &#036;39.27 USD.

    I&#39;d rather the tornado book.

    Whew&#33;

    Be satisfied having survived it, eh?
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  9. The Drawing Room   -   #9
    Biggles's Avatar Looking for loopholes
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Scotland
    Age
    60
    Posts
    8,804
    Originally posted by kAb+31 March 2004 - 05:31--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (kAb @ 31 March 2004 - 05:31)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-j2k4@30 March 2004 - 22:26
    I remember that day very well.

    Been a tornado buff since I was a kid.

    The word AWESOME applies (the original meaning, not the one currently abused by those who use it to describe such things as a good bottle of beer, or a nice car).
    As in incredible, not in a good nor bad way

    Tornados are very strange. Don&#39;t have them here in California, don&#39;t have much of any disaster except fires here. And those just happen in socal. [/b][/quote]
    Err..

    Call me old fashioned, but are earthquakes not considered a bit undesireable?

    Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum


  10. The Drawing Room   -   #10
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Oh, please...
    Posts
    15,254
    Originally posted by Biggles@31 March 2004 - 12:59
    Call me old fashioned, but are earthquakes not considered a bit undesireable?



    No, Biggles-

    Just highlighting the misuse of language indicated by the word awesome being thrown about so lightly these days.

    People seem so easily "awed"; to paraphrase Eddie Izzard:

    Person 1:

    Did you see that volcano blow up?

    Person 2:

    Sorry, no.

    What was that like?

    Person 1:

    It was AWESOME&#33;&#33;&#33;

    Person 2:

    Really?

    As awesome as my new "50 Cent" CD?

    You see what I mean.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •