More ruins from the Lubbock tornado.
I was in junior high in 1970, and like everyone who lived in Lubbock then, have clear memories of the storm and its impact. My dad, a civil engineer, was one of the people who had immediate access to the heavily damaged portions of downtown, and he took pictures of what it looked like. They are frightening.
We still get big storms in the spring, but never again a tornado like that one.
Here’s a reenactment of the City’s emergency management response the night of the storm. It’s equal parts corny and historic, but watching it makes my memories seem more recent.
If my information is correct, this is at (or very near) the location where all four members of a young family died during the 1970 tornado. Those little boys would be 51 and 49 years old now, and their parents would be in their early 70s. It is very nearly too much to think about.
On the night of May 11, 1970, Lubbock was struck by a devastating tornado. That storm changed the trajectory of the city – 26 people were killed, entire neighborhoods were leveled, the downtown suffered heavy damage.
One of the neighborhoods that was particularly hard hit was on the north side of town, near the Lubbock Country Club. Look at this list of fatalities and you’ll see Mesa Road listed over and over again. This is that part of Mesa Road as it looks now. A Facebook friend told me about this location. He said, “See that red wall? For years and years a lady would come out and put up a few blocks at a time, and even slung some paint on it. I was told her family died in the house…There’s a little less there each year.”