WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The tenth day of April is a day that will be forever etched in the history of the city of Wichita Falls.
42 years ago, on April 10, 1979, a severe weather outbreak in North Texas spawned 13 total tornadoes in Texoma, the largest of which made its way through the heart of Wichita Falls.
Dozens of lives were lost, hundreds of people were left injured, and millions of dollars in damage was suffered.
At around 6 p.m. on that Tuesday, the mile-and-a-half wide tornado touched down near Memorial Stadium and made its way down Southwest Parkway, leveling large sections of the city.
The tornado remained on the ground for about 11 minutes, but the impact of Terrible Tuesday can still be felt by those who lived through it.
KFDX and KJTL Meteorologist Michael Bohling sat down with a storm spotter who was crucial in warning Texomans of the impending twister, who recalled the spirit of Wichita Falls’ citizens who helped pick up the pieces.
City Councilor for District 5 of Wichita Falls Steve Jackson was just a teenager when the tornado hit the city, and in the midst of unimaginable loss, he said he saw faith put the pieces back together.
“I keep saying we’re the city that faith rebuilt,” Jackson said. “The tornado wiped out over half of this town, I lost an uncle during it and had another aunt and uncle that lost everything they had, and we just got to pull together.”