Paris officers remember deadly tornado of 1982

PARIS, TX -- On April 2nd, 1982 an F4 tornado touched down in West Paris with winds gusting up to 200 miles per hour.

The tornado spent eight minutes on the ground, killing 10 and injuring 170 people.

"There were people being taken to hospitals in the back of pick-up trucks," said Police Chief Bob Hundley. "Doors that were blown off houses were being used as stretchers."

Back then Paris didn't have any outdoor sirens, so firefighters and police officers were assigned routes to warn citizens. One of those officers is now Paris Police Chief Bob Hundley.

"My route took me right back into the tornado's path at about 19th Northwest and Campbell, to the point that I got close enough before I realized it and how fast it was moving that I actually had to jump out of my patrol car and get into the ditch as it went by," said Hundley.

Texas Highway Patrolman John Hanna was first to spot the tornado.

"There was a highway patrol sergeant at that time (John Hanna), I think he happened to be coming from Bonham driving down (Highway) 82 and actually spotted it well before it got to the city limits," said Assistant Chief Randy Tuttle, who was a patrolman at the time.

Hanna was able to give an early warning to Paris, but the storm still left 1,200 homes and $50-million in damages in its tracks.


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