Clarendon, Claytonville, Silverton, Lazbuddie, Cotton Center, Plainview, TX Tornado Damage, Apr 1970
TEXAS TORNADOES KILL 24.
Clarendon, Tex. (UPI) -- Clusters of tornadoes, striking in the blackness of night, jabbed 200 miles of the Texas Panhandle early Saturday, killing at least 24 persons, injuring hundreds more and causing damage into the millions.
Twisters, too many to count, darted deadly and loud from the single asphalt road through Whiteface, a cotton village of 373 people near the New Mexico border, to Pampa, an oil town of 26,961 about 60 miles from the Oklahoma line.
"Eleven towns have been damaged and have dead or injured," said C. O. LAYNE Texas coordinator for civil defense and disaster relief. "Damage is estimated in excess of $5 million."
A sleepy resort trailer park four miles north of Clarendon, a town of 2,250 population, got caught in a crossfire of twisters at 3:30 a.m. Fourteen persons were killed there.
Between 150 and 300 house trailers were tossed around like toys and destroyed. Cars and boats were twisted into balls. A line of cottonwood trees, thick with the green leaves of spring, were mowed off two feet above the ground.
W. T. ROBERTSON, 70, lost his wife and his home. He said he had fled the trailer park on the shores of Green Belt Lake when tornado warnings went out but returned home after midnight.
"We hadn't been back long enough for a coffee pot to get hot when we heard it coming," ROBERTSON said. "We ran for the door. I was in the trailer when it hit. The only thing that saved me was that I had sense enough to keep my head under my body."
"I found my wife 10 yards from the trailer. She was still alive. I decided to get some help. I got back 20 minutes later and my brother-in-law said she was unconscious," he said.
"I touched her. She was cold. Tears started streaming because I knew she wasn't breathing anymore." MRS. W. T. ROBERTSON was pronounced dead at the scene. More than 60 were injured.
Tornadoes howling with the roar of a fleet of jets ripped through Clarendon, Whiteface, Whitharral, Cotton Center, Plainview, Lazbuddie, Claytonville, Silverton, Hedley, Pampa and Kress.
Besides the dead at Clarendon, victims included two each at Silverton, Claytonville, Cotton Center and Plainview, and one at Lazbuddie. Another was pronounced dead at a Tulia, Tex., hospital.
Unknown hundreds were injured from the Red River Valley to the tip of the Panhandle.
"You can't believe the amount of mud on the injured people," said GORDON RUSSELL, administrator of the hospital at Hale Center, where the Cotton Center victims were taken. "It's a half inch thick."
Scores of cattle were killed across the flat farmland.
The string of howling twisters were the worst in the area of Texas known as "tornado alley," since a black funnel struck Silverton May 15, 1957, killing 21 persons, injuring 80 and causing half a million dollars damage.
The tornadoes that stretched from Friday night through Saturday morning ripped up power and gas lines and knocked out telephone service for hundreds of miles.
Lowell Sun Massachusetts 1970-04-19
Identified List Of Casualties.
From The Brownsville Herald Texas 1970-04-19
IDENTIFIED CASUALTIES ARE LISTED.
By United Press International.
Here is a list of the fatalities in the storms which struck Northwest Texas Friday night and Saturday morning:
ARCHIE POOL, Clarendon.
MRS. ARCHIE POOL, Clarendon.
MRS. GEORGE DRAKE, Clarendon.
MRS. TRAVIS PITTS, Clarendon.
ODELL OSBORN, Clarendon.
MRS. ODELL OSBORN, Clarendon.
BILL SIMPSON, Clarendon.
MRS. BILL SIMPSON, Clarendon.
PATRICIA DAY, Clarendon.
MRS. W. T. ROBERTSON, Clarendon.
ADELIA WATSON, Clarendon.
SAM WHITFIELD, Clarendon.
MRS. SAM WHITFIELD, Clarendon.
EARNEST JEWELL, Clarendon.
MRS. R. B. WILLINGHAM, Clarendon.
W. C. BLACKERBY, Claytonville.
MRS. W. C. BLACKERBY, Claytonville.
LINDA CROSSLIN, 15, Silverton.
One Unidentified Person, Silverton.
MRS. ALTON MORRIS, Lazbuddie.
MRS. LUPE SAUCEDA, 25, Cotton Center.
TOMMY SAUCEDA, Cotton Center.
JOHN THOMAS, Plainview.
Unidentified Traffic Victim, Plainview.
Unidentified Body Brought to Tulia Hospital.