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Woodward Tornado Widest On Record
Travels 170 Miles
With rain falling Tuesday and after a night of heavy lightning and hail that had Woodward citizens waiting in the darkness for the increasing roar of wind a tornado means fears, destruction, and human misery

In retrospect the tornado that struck Woodward two weeks ago has a scientific picture. The tornado traveled 170 miles from White Deer, Tex., to Whitehorse, Okla. without leaving the ground, J. R. Lloyd, chief of the meterologist of the Kansas City weather bureau reported to the Kansas City Star.

Mr. Lloyd made a four day inspection tour of the devastated areas in Texas and Oklahoma with Vernon W. Schaad of the regional weather office at Fort Worth, Tex. and H. C. Winburn of the weather bureau office at Amarillo, Tex.

The Star reported Lloyd's statements: "The tornado reached a maximun width of 1.8 miles, the widest tornado path on record. It traveled 170 miles from Texas into Oklahoma without leaving the ground. Its speed of travel reached as high as 46.5 miles an hour. At the outer edges the tornado whirling seventy-five miles an hour and mathematics indicate the speed of rotation at the tornado core was about 450 miles an hour.

"By the same process of mathematics, the tornado, at its greatest whirling speed, exerted a pressure of nearly 600 pounds on every square foot of surface with which it came in contact. The debris left in the path of the tornado core was a jumbled mass of wreckage, but at its outer edges the debris pointed virtually at right angles to the core path.

The tornado formed one-half mile south of White Deer, Tex., at 6:48 o'clock at night. It dissipated near White Horse, Okla., thirty-five miles northeast of Woodward about 9:40.

"Throughout much of its 170 miles frenzy, it straddled the tracks of the Santa Fe railway, blowing twenty-one cars of a moving freight train off the track. On a small ranch it picked up a mule and deposited him in a stock water tank into which Lloyd says, a human being could not have placed the animal with a shoehorn. A group of rabbit hutches and their occupants remained undamaged although every surrounding building was destroyed.

"We discussed the loss in property with a great many persons in the area, Lloyd said. As nearly as we could get to it, it amounted to a loss of $11,700,000. Undoubtedly it was one of the worst tornados."

"Tornado Town" has 36 Families
A Mayor; Room for 118 More Groups

The emergency housing project set up at the air base by the Red Cross for families left homeless by the storm is day by day increasing in population and taking the form of a small community.

The 36 families which now live in the barracks, formerly used by members of the army air corps, have advantage of complete water and lightng facilities. the small community has been named "Tornado Town" and has a mayor, Caharles Burkett, Red Cross oficial from St. Louis, Mo., as well as a doctor and nurses to care for the ill. They have bus service to and from Woodward.

A central mess system is employed whereby the entire population eat together in the mess hall formerly used by the army. The Red Cross has provided two electric washing machines to be used by any one living in the project and toys have been ordered to keep the small children occupied.

The barracks are set off in small apartments with a private entrance and all of the toilet facilities are in the building.

Plans are being devised by the Red Cross to furnish small stoves in the apartment to allow each family to do its own cooking.

Robert Edson, head of the Red Cross in Woodward, said Wednesday that there is room at the base for 118 additional families who are homeless and that still more room will be available when the volunteer workers decrease. He said that to date 500 families has registered for aid and that the Red Cross would continue to take care of all families who need rehabilitaion.
Woodward Relief Fund
All persons who have contributions for the emergency relief fund and all clubs who have received donations to this fund are asked to leave them at the Bank of Woodward or the Stock Exchange Bank. The Committe is unable to make personal calls.
Salvage Bills
All merchants who have bills charged to the salvage committee are asked to bring these bills to the salvage desk in the Community building Friday for payment.
A&M Track Meet
Proceeds to Woodward
Stillwater, Oklahoma: All proceeds of the Texas A&M-Oklahoma A&M track meet to be held here May 3 will go to the Woodward relief fund, Henry P. Iba, Oklahoma A&M athletic director, announced today.

Expenses of the meet will be borne by the school's athletic cabinet.

Thus far Stillwater citizens have donated $355.25 to the Woodward Fund.
Building Regulations
The city office has asked that all persons follow the city building codes and pay special attention to fire zones in the construction of buildings.
Congressional approval of $2,500,000 relief fund for Woodward is virtually certain, U. S. Rep. Ros Rizley, R., Okla., advised members of the legislature today.

Sen. Dwight Leonard, Beaver, said he conferred with Rizley by telephone early this afternoon. Leonard called Rizley when Woodward school officials advised him that the tornado-stricken community could not leagally float bond issues which would be required to rebuild devastated school property.
Resolution For 1 Cent City Sales Tax
To Be Presented Legislature
Since Wednesday Relief Fund Here Increases
$10,000; To Incorporate Emergency Committee
Rain halted the reconstruction work in Woodward Thursday but civic leaders were taking steps forward to hasten and facilite rebuilding of the city.

With the Woodward Relief Fund growing constantly the city took steps on its own Wednesday evening in projecting a one per cent sales tax in the city. Phil Ferguson and Dorsey Baker met with the commission to discuss the plan of asking the governor and state legislature to enact such legislation.

J. O. Selman obtained permission to present the resolution and Mr. Ferguson and Mr. Baker relayed it to the capital Thursday. The tax as projected will be in addition to the two per cent sales tax and will be enacted in Woodward only. It will be used to clean, rebuild, police, and for general municipal purposes.

With rain falling after a night that had some Woodward residents in basemanets and caves and others ready to go, the Emergency Relief committee met in the Bank of Woodward Thursday morning to formulate plans for organizing the committee into a non-profit corporation complete with state charter.

The United Press reported the relief fund over the state stood at more than $44,000 and the "flood of donations was just getting underway."

The relief committee in Woodward has received $10,801.22 since Wednesday.

The move to create the relief committee as a non-profit corporation is being made for the portection of the fund Alex Geismar, treasurer said.

Reuben Sparks, attorney member of the committee, went ot Oklahoma City Thursday to obtain the charter after which the organization is expected to be set up in an office with Miss Bartlett in charge of records. Members of the committee include: Joe Osborne, chairman; Vance Terry, Quincy Johnston, Mr. Sparks, and Mr. Geismar.

The rain forced a discontinuance of salvage work for the day, Thursday.

This was the first day there has been no salvage operation since the beginning one week ago in the area west of the Katy tracks and south of Texas avenue. The first crews went out last Thursday morning and since that time an average of 150 volunteers have reported for work each morning.

The great number of these workers have been Mennonites from towns in Kansas such as Halstead, Inman, Montezuma, Galva and Fairview. These men have averaged 125 in attendance since the beginning of the clean-up work Wilson Riley, salvage chariman reported.

The following is a list of the contributors to the relief fund since Wednesday.
        M. G. Clow, Woodward, $100
        Mrs. Carl Norris, Woodward, $50.
        Newcomb-Frist & Co., Woodward, $500
        H. B. Atkin, Fredom, $25.
        Earl W. Jenkins, Buffalo, N.M., $25.
        Ray Arnold, Fairview, $20.
        Ray Mallard, Fairview, $10.
        Harry Devoe, Fairview, $5.
        I.O.O. F., Fairview, $50.
        L. L. Plank, Fairview, $1.
        H. D. Butcher, Fairview, $1.
        Parman Jr., Fairview, $5.
        Jess Kirsey, Fairview, $10.
        R. A. Taylor, Fairview, $10.
        Ray Wheat, Fairview, $25.
        Glen Craven, Fairview, $5.
        A. E. Butcher, Fairview, $2
        Austin Wilkinson, Fairview, $10.
        Goerge Viers, Fairview, $5.
        Champ Paul, Fairview, $10.
        W. E. McCloskey, Fairview, $5.
        Virgil Stites, Fairview, $10.
        Luther Doane, Fairview, $1.
        Woodrow Hawerton, Fairfview, $5.
        Peter Kleewer, Fairview, $10.
        Woodward Amusement Co., Woodward, $100.
        Duncan Chamber of Commerce, Duncan, $133.47.
        EArl and Ray Stuart, Woodward, $150.
        Woodward Scottish Rite Masons, Woodward, $500.
        Guthrie Scottish Rite Masons, Guthrie, $1000.
        Dwight Ferguson, Woodward, $500.
        Phil Ferguson, Woodward, $500.
        J. O. Selman, Woodward, $1000.
        Clare Ferguson, New Haven, Conn. $500.
        Luther Shobe, Woodward, $750.
        L. E. Bouquot, Woodward, $200.
        Eugene Antrim, Crescent City, $25.
        Sharp Lumber Co., Woodward, $500.
        Palace Office Supply, Tulsa, $5.
        Quinlan Rebekah Lodge, quinlan, $2.50.
        Vance and Ben Terry, Woodward, $1000.
        Zenith Gas, Woodward, $1000.
        E. P. Williams, $1000.
        E. P. Williams, $1000.
        Roy and Luther Adams, Woodward, $1000.

Woodward Daily Press
Thursday, April 21, 1947

Links to more Tornado information on this web site.

Tornado Intro Tornado Timeline Tornado Path Tornado Story
Tornado Heroes Tornado Stories Tornado Trivia After Tornado
Tornado Victims Tornado Victims Tornado Photos Tornado Remembered

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