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    Texas Storms | Texas Disasters | Vintage Photos

    HIGGINS 1947 TORNADO
    Vintage Photos
    Higgins, Texas

    "Photos taken by my Great Grandmother Alice Akers of
    the April 9, 1947 F5 tornado that hit Higgins, TX" -
    Rob McLain
    On April 9, 1947, the event that was to become forever linked to Higgins occurred. A tornado or tornadoes approached Higgins from the south, after first hitting Glazier, Texas. Forty-five people lost their lives as the storm continued up into Oklahoma and even into Kansas.
    Higgins main street after 1947 tornado, Higgins Texas
    Broader view of destruction on Main Street
    Car and main street after tornado, Higgins Texas 1947 tornado
    Men and car in Main Street after the tornado
    Higgins main street after tornado, Higgins Texas 1947
    Surveying the destruction of Main Street
    Weis Dry Goods after Higgins Texas 1947 tornado
    A car sits destroyed in front of Weis Dry Goods. That Building still stands today
    Texas 1947 tornado Higgins in ruins
    People walking around dazed and confused looking for anything.
    Higgins Hotel after tornado, Higgins Texas 1947
    Higgins Hotel after tornado
    Tornado aftermath
    First Baptist Church after tornado

    Higgins, Texas Forum

  • Glazier and Higgins Tornado of April, 1947

  • Dear TE, The recent pictures of the Greenburg, Kansas tornado brought back memories of the tornado that hit Hemphill County back in 1947. I was 12 years old on April 9, 1947 when I witnessed the tornado that hit Higgins and Glazier. It was just southwest of the airport at Canadian, Texas, where my father Thomas L. McCurdy was the airport manager. The tornado was so large that there were five or six smaller twisters circling the main column. The tornado was so close that the air seemed to be all sucked up. It was such weird feeling. The main tornado lifted as it crossed the South Canadian River but went back on the ground after reaching the north side. We were so frightened by it, that we talked about it for hours after it had passed. The next morning someone was banging on the door at the airport. The man who ran the paper at Canadian was saying that Glazier was wiped out. My dad flew the photographer over the area and took the original pictures of the devastation. After returning to the airport, my dad flew back to Glazier and landed on the highway to pick up two of the injured and bring them back to the Canadian hospital. He remained in that plane for the next two days flying people from Higgins and Glazier because the highway from Canadian to Higgins was impassable. All the barbed wire and telephone/ telegraph lines were twisted together and wove back and forth on the highway for many miles. Cars couldn't drive over it because of the barbed wire, so Dad's airplane was the main lifeline between Canadian and the other two towns. On the second day the Army flew in with stretcher planes and helped. Dadís plane was a Stinson Voyager with a stretcher in it. He could carry one in the stretcher and one in the back seat. I donít know how many trips he made but I know he was in the airplane for two solid days. The local gasoline dealer brought kerosene smuge pots to the airport and lined both sides of the runaway. They did the same in Glazier and Higgins and he flew all night long to bring the injured to Canadian. The basements of the Baptist and Methodist churches were filled with injured people after the hospital had run out of room. The high school gym was also used. Even though I was only twelve at the time, my memories of that event remain vivid. - Otto W. (Bill) McCurdy, Houston Texas, May 14, 2007


    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic photos of their town, please contact us.
    See Higgins, Texas

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