TORNADO OF 1947

(The following is extracted from an e-mail from Tim CARTER to his daughter
on Nov 20, 1999)

Now, for my story about the storm of 1947 or 49.  Not sure about the time of year,
but think it was on a Saturday.  Dad was at work and Mother was ironing.
Remember being on the front porch (114 Goode) and think I was playing with a
yo-yo.  Looked up and saw black clouds (really black) to the north-north
west.  Weather was extremely hot and very muggy, no wind at all.  I walked
into the house and told Mother that something bad was probably happening.
So, she turned on the radio and we listened.  Finally heard that a very bad
tornado had struck Cotton Valley ("flattened" or "leveled" were the terms
being used) and was headed east towards Leton and then Haynesville.

As soon as Dad arrived home from work, we left for Leton to see about Grand
daddy Lee.  I do not remember taking time to eat.   I was driving.  When we
arrived at the farm house, it was a very dark night.  There were no lights
on in the house at all.  Mother ran to the house through the rain and
unlocked the door.  Grand daddy was fine.  He didn't even know there was a
storm any where around.

Well, we left there and headed for Haynesville.  Went back to Leton and took
the road to White Hall Church and Cemetery.  It was raining very, very hard
so I had to drive slower than normal.  Mother complained that I was driving
too fast.  (Dash lights were out)  I told her I was only driving about 35
mph.  She said "No, you are driving a lot more than that."  She was sitting
in the middle and I told her to get the flashlight and see what I was
driving.  When she turned it on, sure enough, I was driving right on 35 mph.

About 3/4 to one mile before the church, there was a community with a few
houses and a couple of country stores.  (will give you the name when I think
of it)  The stores and all the houses had been leveled. We had to wait about
15 minutes to a half-hour for men to move large trees out of the road before
we could continue.  They never have rebuilt any of those stores or houses.

Well, we drove on to Haynesville and then back to Minden that night.
However, the above is all I can rec-collect of the events.

Back then, both streets through the middle of Minden were two way. Believe
the names were (or are) North Broadway, the street with two theatres and all
the main stores.  And, South Broadway, which everyone always called "Back"
street.

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THE TORNADO OF WAS IN 1947

By Theresa Bunner
 


December 31, 1947.  My husband, baby daughter, and I were
living in Haynesville.  Tim Carter was right about the weather
being hot and muggy.  I had walked to downtown and was
getting a perm! 
    The operator was terrified.  I didn't realize how bad the
storm was till the wind had calmed, and I went outside.  I tried
to get home in a cab, but there was no way.  I ran, jumping
downed trees, poles, wires, to get to my baby and hubby.  They
were fine.
    The next morning, January 1, 1948, the ground was frozen.
I am sure of the day of the storm; my daughter was born July 14,
1947, and she was 5 1/2 months old.

 

I talked to my grandmother a while ago.  The town Dad mentioned (near the White Hall Cemetery) that the tornado leveled was Dykesville and when I asked Grandmother what year that tornado happened, her response was that it was either in 1947 or 1949, so she wasn't much help on that.  Am glad someone else wrote about it, too.  I know someone mentioned it in the Minden Newspaper, since Dad died, but not sure how long ago.  I think it would have probably been John or Juanita Agan who wrote about it. 
 
From a search I just ran on the newspaper website, it looks like it was definitely in 1947.
 
Take care!
Renee'

Oh yes! After sending you that information I pulled up a 1947 calendar and found that December 31 was on Wednesday. I had forgotten what day of the week it was.  It's making me remember a lot of things I hadn't thought of since I was a school kid.

Theresa