Severe weather threat falls on anniversary of 1957 deadly tornado outbreak

BRYAN COUNTY, OK -- Tuesday's severe weather threat falls on the anniversary of the deadly tornado outbreak in April of 1957 that tore through towns both north and south of the Red River.

The two-day outbreak reportedly produced about 50 tornadoes and killed at least 19 people in three states. Several of those victims lived right here in Texoma.

Video from April 2, 1957 shows a deadly twister touching down in Dallas- Forth Worth. It killed 10 people and injured 200 more. That same system produced tornadoes in several Texoma counties including Marshall, Grayson, Murray, Lamar, and Bryan County.

"Suddenly we saw this funnel as it came down," Rushing said.

Glendel Rushing vividly remembers seeing the tornado that killed at least three people in Durant.

"We really felt like the tornado was coming toward our house and of course we were scared, you know, and we were so blessed that it did not hit our house," Rushing said.

Bryan County Emergency Manager James Dalton was just a boy when that tornado hit, but says he will never forget it.

"It caused me to be aware of it, and somewhat scared of it, you know," Dalton said.

Dalton says a deadly tornado outbreak can occur anytime of the year and says April 2, 1957 should serve as a reminder of just how real the threat is.

"If you don't have a plan ahead of time and you're not cognizant of your surroundings are you going to really have time to be prepared for that," Dalton asked.

Dalton says when a warning is issued that is the time to take action. He advises that if you do not have a storm shelter to take cover in the most interior room of a sturdy structure. Dalton says avoid being outdoors, but if you get caught outside to lie flat down in a ditch.

"Lay as low to the ground as possible. If you have something you can lie over you do that to protect you from the debris," Dalton said.

He says every storm threat should be taken seriously.

In severe weather situations stay tuned to News 12. You can also get the latest information on kxii.com or our News 12 app. There are also smartphone apps like "Scanner Radio" and "Radio 50" that will allow you to tune into live scanner feeds.


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