Friday Flashbacks: Tornado of '74

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WHAS11.com

Posted on November 21, 2008 at 6:21 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 11 at 5:02 PM

(WHAS11) - For this edition of Friday Flashbacks we go back to the WHAS archives for one of the city's worst natural disasters.

On the afternoon of April 3rd, 1974, most people in the city and surrounding counties ran for cover. It was the beginning of the worst tornado outbreak in U.S. history.

It was late afternoon and school buses were dropping kids off at home.

The skies were angry and dark and TV stations didn't have Doppler radars, live remote units or live helicopters.

26 tornadoes would hit Kentucky. One huge one had been spotted in Louisville and suddenly WHAS anchor Ken Rowland bolted into the studio.

31 people, including school children who were outside playing, died in Brandenburg and Louisville had three deaths, mostly heart attacks.

82-year-old Ken Rowland came to the station. WHAS11's Doug Proffitt asked him about that first tornado warning that came in that day.

"Most of them don't come true. Most of them don't hit you. But that day, when we saw that funnel cloud from the top of this building, WHAS, you said, uh oh, this is it," he says

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