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Robin Garr

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Who remembers the April 3, 1974 tornadoes?

by Robin Garr » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:29 am

And where were you when the big one hit Brandenburg before cutting a swath from the Fairgrounds through the Highlands and Crescent Hill, Indian Hills and Northfield?

I lived off Browns Lane then, too far to see or hear the funnel cloud, and had the wrong radio station on, so all I got was Tom Wills/WAVE having a meltdown ("I THINK IT'S HEADED STRAIGHT FOR DOWNTOWN!") rather than Dick Gilbert's helicopter heroics on WHAS.
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Michele Cull

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Re: Who remembers the April 3, 1974 tornadoes?

by Michele Cull » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:29 pm

I was almost 6 and it was my Pappaw's birthday. We were on our front porch across from Woerner Jr High trying to decide where to have cake. Did not go to the basement. I remember that my uncle was out riding a 10 speed.
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Carol C

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Re: Who remembers the April 3, 1974 tornadoes?

by Carol C » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:42 pm

I remember exactly where I was on April 3, 1974!!! I was just out of college, living at Mallgate Apts. in St Matthews and working at Suburban Hospital. My roommate and I had just gotten home from work when we heard about the tornado. We stood on the 3rd floor balcony of our apt and watched it go through Northfield (probably not the brightest thing to do!). Soon, someone from the hospital came to get us to come back to work. At the hospital, the elevators were not working so all the employees (including Bob!) formed a "human chain" to get the dinner trays up the stairs to patients. They must have had some generators but not totally.... It was a little scary, but what stands out in my memory was how everyone worked together, whatever their positions. Fortunately, there were no major injuries!
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Re: Who remembers the April 3, 1974 tornadoes?

by BevP » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:28 pm

I was 14 living in Okolona my parents were on their way home from work. My Mom got upset because the folks in the car ahead kept looking at them or so she thought, when Dad noticed the tornado passing right behind them as it went over Preston after hitting Freedom Hall and the Fairgrounds. Personlly I was on the phone with my then boyfriend and knew nothing had happened.
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Re: Who remembers the April 3, 1974 tornadoes?

by Carla G » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:06 am

My sister-in-law and I were getting gas at the (then) DeHarts Sunoco station in St Matthews. (I think the out of business yogurt store is there now.) we could look down the street and see the tornado crossing Frankfort Ave. We hurried back home a couple of blocks away to Richland Ave, sat in the basement til it was over. That evening/dusk was the creepiest I had ever spent. No sound. No traffic. Just military vehicles patrolling the streets in St Matthews. My brother had driven my brand new Chevy Nova to his work in the Highlands. He did counseling out of a storefront across from Leatherhead. Two telephone poles fell across Bardstown Rd - one in front of and one behind my little car but the car itself wasn't touched.
"She did not so much cook as assassinate food." - Storm Jameson
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Re: Who remembers the April 3, 1974 tornadoes?

by Gordon M Lowe » Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:40 pm

I'm a little late to this thread, but in my case I was watching 41 and Presto told me to go get my parents and go to the basement. My mother and I opened the dining room windows first, and looked out in the general direction of Bowman Field, and saw a big dark wall cloud. My dad's bus couldn't get through Bardstown Rd. at Eastern Pkwy, so he found a pay phone, and told us he'd be late for dinner!
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Jay M.

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Re: Who remembers the April 3, 1974 tornadoes?

by Jay M. » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:30 pm

My now wife lived on Eastern Parkway and was headed to her high school job at Oxmoor Mall (extra points if you remember the Gidding-Jenny store at Oxmoor). She said the sky turned a weird shade of green, so she got out of the car and tried to make it to the White Castle - now Boombozz/Oil Change place. The wind was too strong and she couldn't make it to the WC and jumped into a stranger's car in traffic on Eastern Parkway. When I asked her why, she said "I didn't want to die alone". By then trees and wires were down and the road was impassable. They drove up along the sidewalks and made it across Bardstown Road. The storm had passed on toward Cherokee Park, so she got out of the car and walked home. She told me she lost and never found her earrings and believes they were blown off while outside the car.
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Re: Who remembers the April 3, 1974 tornadoes?

by Carla G » Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:00 am

Jay M. wrote:My now wife lived on Eastern Parkway and was headed to her high school job at Oxmoor Mall (extra points if you remember the Gidding-Jenny store at Oxmoor). She said the sky turned a weird shade of green, so she got out of the car and tried to make it to the White Castle - now Boombozz/Oil Change place. The wind was too strong and she couldn't make it to the WC and jumped into a stranger's car in traffic on Eastern Parkway. When I asked her why, she said "I didn't want to die alone". By then trees and wires were down and the road was impassable. They drove up along the sidewalks and made it across Bardstown Road. The storm had passed on toward Cherokee Park, so she got out of the car and walked home. She told me she lost and never found her earrings and believes they were blown off while outside the car.


OMG Jay ! She was right in the the thick of it. Does she harbor any problems with storms now?
"She did not so much cook as assassinate food." - Storm Jameson
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Re: Who remembers the April 3, 1974 tornadoes?

by DanB » Thu May 02, 2013 5:22 pm

I was in Jeff at swim practice. After we checked our grandparents in the Highlands we tried to drive to Hanover where we had moved from three years before. Tree blowdown on 62 stopped us. We got there the next day (no cell phones or internet back then) to find about ten of our closest friends in the hospital. The twister had destroyed about 3/4 of our old neighborhood. Three houses down from our old house the twister had picked up a friend's house, turned it upside down, and then it exploded. The youngest girl was five and they found her between a mattress and a boxspring. Everyone else was seriously injured and in the hospital. Word went around that one family huddled in the bathtub and a 2x4 went through the wall and impaled the father who was laying on top of his family. Since most of the house was gone we looked in and saw the hole, a couple of inches above the top of the tub. He didn't make it.

It looked pretty much like everything had been nuked. Southwestern High School was gone. The Elementary and Grade School was mostly gone. Hanover College was pretty much nuked. We climbed inside the carcass or a water tower near campus.

The (then) version of FEMA distributed tents, wool Army blankets and food. One of our friends to this very day will not let go of the scratchy wool Army blanket they gave her.
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Mike Hardin

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Re: Who remembers the April 3, 1974 tornadoes?

by Mike Hardin » Fri May 17, 2013 11:48 am

Gordon M Lowe wrote:I'm a little late to this thread, but in my case I was watching 41 and Presto told me to go get my parents and go to the basement.


I remember that! I was 6 and lived on Stilz avenue. My mom and I could see the tornado come from Cherokee over the Seminary and toward Crescent Hill. The aftermath was ungodly!
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Robin Garr

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Re: Who remembers the April 3, 1974 tornadoes?

by Robin Garr » Fri May 17, 2013 1:01 pm

Mike Hardin wrote:
Gordon M Lowe wrote:I'm a little late to this thread, but in my case I was watching 41 and Presto told me to go get my parents and go to the basement.


I remember that! I was 6 and lived on Stilz avenue. My mom and I could see the tornado come from Cherokee over the Seminary and toward Crescent Hill. The aftermath was ungodly!


You were probably watching it make a direct hit on the house I live in now. It took off the entire roof and attic, leaving the first floor open to the sky. I'm really glad I didn't live here then. <shudder>

We think the occupants banked the insurance money and did all the repairs themselves. The house, which turns 100 this year, has "character" that it might not have had before. :mrgreen:
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Re: Who remembers the April 3, 1974 tornadoes?

by Mike Hardin » Mon May 20, 2013 9:41 am

Robin Garr wrote:
Mike Hardin wrote:
Gordon M Lowe wrote:I'm a little late to this thread, but in my case I was watching 41 and Presto told me to go get my parents and go to the basement.


I remember that! I was 6 and lived on Stilz avenue. My mom and I could see the tornado come from Cherokee over the Seminary and toward Crescent Hill. The aftermath was ungodly!


You were probably watching it make a direct hit on the house I live in now. It took off the entire roof and attic, leaving the first floor open to the sky. I'm really glad I didn't live here then. <shudder>

We think the occupants banked the insurance money and did all the repairs themselves. The house, which turns 100 this year, has "character" that it might not have had before. :mrgreen:


I've lived in a couple houses like that. We were lucky. We lived at 228 Stilz and only lost one window while the two houses closest to the Head Rest (corner of Stilz and Frankfort) were wiped off their foundations and so many more were damaged badly.

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