52 Years Later: Remembering 1964 Tornado

52 Years Later: Remembering 1964 Tornado

WICHITA FALLS, TX - Fifty-two years ago, on April 3rd, an F5 tornado made it's way through the north west portion of Wichita Falls. Newschannel 6 made history that day by broadcasting the twister live from outside the station.


    "It's one thing to tell someone that tornadoes are coming. It's a completely different thing to show them the tornado live on television," John Cameron, Meteorologist at Newschannel 6 said.


    The tornado touched down a little after 2:30 pm on FM 369 and Seymour Hwy. It made it's way across U.S. 287 and landed in Sunset Terrace. After that it crossed the Red River Expressway to Lincoln Heights, then made it's way to Sheppard Air Force Base.


    Newschannel 6 cameraman Carl Nichols and weatherman Dee Fletcher took a studio camera outside the station to give viewers a live look at the twister. This make KAUZ one of the first stations to ever do so.


    In 2014 Nichols spoke about that day on the 50th anniversary of that tragic day.


    "I never really gave it that much thought as I was going through it, but I've looked back on it over the years and realized we were very fortunate. If it had stayed on the ground it would have wiped channel six out," Nichols said.


    Seven people died and more than one hundred people were injured, and the damage could be seen for miles. Despite the chaos, the Newschannel 6 weather team came together to give the public the best possible warnings at that time.


    "For a meteorologist to just walk outside, see what appears to be a tornadic thunderstorm out there and have the wherewithal to first of all get permission to drag a camera out there and capture the event live on television, it was just unprecedented for the early 60's," Cameron said.

Samantha Forester, Newschannel 6

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