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Share your memories of the 1974 tornadoes
Thursday, March 13, 2014 11:00 AM
In only a few weeks, Courierarea residents will joins thousands of other Midwesterners in observing the anniversary of the horrific tornadoes that ripped through their communities on April 3, 1974.
Yes, it's been 40 years since that day of storms that claimed hundreds of lives - 10 here in Jefferson County - and millions of dollars in damage.
Incredibly, it could have been much worse.
As our staff has sifted through newspaper coverage of the tornadoes, we're amazed that more people didn't lose their lives.
From the devastation at the Southwestern schools to the wide swath of rubble through the city, the pictures remind us of the power a tornado can pack.
In a few weeks, The Madison Courier will publish stories and photos of individuals whose lives were affected by the tornadoes.
Our reporters are talking with individuals who survived the tornadoes. Their stories are incredible and inspiring.
We would like your help with our tornado anniversary coverage.
If you have a story or photos you would like to share, we will add them to our coverage.
All you need to do is mail or email us your information. Our address is: The Madison Courier, 310 West St., Madison, IN 47250. Or, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the 40 years that have passed we've learned so much about predicting weather patterns, but we have learned many times over that this area will never be immune from tornadoes.
Every family should use this anniversary to review safety procedures - especially families with young children and senior citizens.
I was a junior in high school, and had stayed after school for a Prom Committee meeting. Someone came in and told us that 2 tornadoes were heading our way, so we all went into a tunnel beneath the school. There was a string of bare light bulbs over our heads, and we were standing in about an inch of water. After the tornadoes had passed, my best friend gave me a ride home. As we rounded E O Muncie, I could see our house. The roof was completely gone, and there was an ambulance, lights flashing, in front of our house. She couldn't get the car through to get any closer, so I threw open the door, and ran as fast as I could to get to the house. When I got there, my brother grabbed me and gave me a little shake to calm me down. He said everyone was safe. My mother had received a cut on her forehead, and was getting first aid, but everyone else was ok. As the tornado had approached, my brother had taken the car and driven up the block to get our grandma out of her house. She, of course, had to get her coat, and her cane, and her cat, and so my brother had to scoop her up in his arms and put her in the car. As they drove around the small church that used to be by her house on Orchard, the steeple fell behind them. Then the car got hung up on a barn door that had blown into the road. In the meantime, my mother was standing in the doorway between the back room and kitchen watching for them. A butcher knife flew through the air and hit her in the forehead, causing her to fall back into the kitchen. She looked up, and the back room and doorway where she was standing were gone. Somehow my dad made it home from work safely, my brother got the car unstuck and he and grandma made it home, I was home safe, and shortly thereafter my 2 sisters came walking over from the State Hospital where they both worked. My grandma and I were worried about our pets, her cat, and our cat and outside dog. I found our cat sleeping soundly in the bottom of my dad's closet. We walked to grandma's house, and the only room left standing was the kitchen. We searched for the cat, and as I opened a cupboard door, there he sat, as still as a statue, his eyes as big as saucers. We wrapped him in a towel and took him to grandma. They were both overjoyed to see one another. As we were all standing looking at the damage to the house, roof gone, back room and garage gone, here comes our dog, running down the road as fast as he could go, tail between his legs! Our family was complete, all of us together again, safe and sound!
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3/17/2014 9:42:00 AM
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