Lefors, TX Tornado Damage, Mar 1975


Lefors, Tex. (UPI) -- Most of the 800 residents of this Texas farming town were asleep. A thunderstorm pounded the frame houses around the town square with hail and rain.
MRS. W. B. MINTER, was awakened early Thursday by the roaring noise. Seconds later the twister hit.
"God took care of us," she said. "I yelled at my husband and then it hit. The bedroom was gone, but a partition and two chairs saved us."
The tornado destroyed 100 homes and businesses in Lefors, killed a child and injured more than 40 other persons. The same twister also slammed through Higgins, 60 miles away, without causing injuries.
Killed in Lefors was STEPHENIE ANZALDUA, 3, whose parents lived in a mobile home. Her parents and sister were injured and treated at a hospital.
BYRON WELLS and his wife were warned by a telephone call from their son in Amarillo telling them of violent weather in the area. The tornado hit five minutes later.
"We got out of our bedroom and suddenly there was no bedroom," MRS. WELLS said.
Pampa police officer John Thomas, who went to Lefors to try to help its residents, said the tornado
"totally demolished" the town.
"Everything in downtown is completely leveled," he said. "In the residential area all around downtown more than 90 per cent of the houses are destroyed or heavily damaged."
"The streets are almost completely blocked with trees and rubble and the entire area is covered with mud. It (the tornado) was probably about five blocks wide and it went directly through the center of town."
"There's no telephones, no lights, no water, no nothing in Lefors," Libby Shotwell, of the Pampa Red Cross, said.
The Red Cross brought in emergency water supplies and 11 shortwave radio operators from the area went to Lefors to enable communications to continue.
Gov. Dolph Briscoe said the state would help rebuild the town. Department of Public Safety officers and a representative of the governor's office were dispatched to the area to assess the damage.

The News Port Arthur Texas 1975-03-28