Wichita Falls Remembers Terrible Tuesday, April 10th, 1979
It's been more than 40 years, but Wichita Falls will never forget the events of April 10th, 1979, when one of the largest tornadoes ever recorded rolled through North Texas.
By the end of that day more than 20,000 Wichita Falls residents were homeless and more than 40 had lost their lives.
Officially designated an F4 at the time on the Fujita scale, Ted Fujita later said, "The damage path was one of the widest I have ever seen, and its intensity was almost equal to that of the giant storm that leveled Xenia, Ohio, in the 1974 tornado outbreak."
The tornado was more than a mile wide at times, spawned multiple smaller vortices around its core, and remained on the ground for almost 47 miles.
Remember, this all took place in the spring of 1979. Cell phones hadn't been invented yet and the idea of having the current radar picture and severe weather notifications on a device in your hand hadn't even been dreamed of. Because of the storm most television and radio stations had been knocked off the air. One AM station had its own generator to power both the studio and the transmitter and had a reporter on the scene. This was all most people knew about what had happened just moments after the event.
While we're all busy sheltering in place, let's not forget that the spring storm season is approaching, now is the time to make your plans and put together your severe weather survival kits.