Harpersville, AL Tornado, Jan 1964

Harpersville ALA Tornado.JPG


Rescue workers searched for more victims today after a tornado stormed through the small community of Harpersville in north central Alabama, killing at least nine persons and hospitalizing at least five.
Tornadoes churned through sections of Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois and Arkansas.
Hail and torrential rains accompanied some of the twisters.
Bodies were taken from the ruins of three houses and other debris in Harpersville, a community of 1,000 population 30 miles southeast of Birmingham. Some victims were children.
Rescue efforts were hampered by fallen power lines and tree limbs, and a driving rain. Four inches of rain drenched the area before and after the twister struck.
The disaster climaxed a night of turbulent weather in central and northern Alabama. At least 15 houses were damaged in the Rodenville area of Dekalb County. A tornado also struck in the small community of Gorgas in Walker County northwest of Birmingham. No injuries were reported there but several houses were damaged.

Blytheville Courier News Arkansas 1964-01-25


Hapersville Tornado 1964

I was 5 years old and in the Tornado, but I remember it like it was yesterday. We were going to go to the drive in with some neigbors down
the way ( we lived in a small apartment , they were attached to each other, like a road side motel) I remember going to the neighbors to see if they were ready yet and then came back and told my parents they would be ready as soon as the show Sugar Foot was off. As my brother and I watched them play cards we heard a roar, and my dad said ,sounds like the new deisel truck ,then the wind picked up and my mom tried to shut the front door with my dad screaming let it go, and putting me and my brother under the bed. It lasted only a minute and it was over. Next thing I remember was a reporter coming in the door and snapping pictures and helping my dad pick up stuff. Well the Apartments on both side of us were blown apart, we were still standing. There was a huge tree behind our place that blew over on top of us. and kept us from blowing away too. The next day I remember seeing all the clothes and stuff in the trees, and see the destruction all around. I went to the house that was close by us and all that was left was a foundation. And like the picture on this site I found what I remeber was a Dennis the Minice doll. Dont remember if i kept it or not. But all the memories of that day are very clear.