Survivors relive memories from the 1974 tornado - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Survivors relive memories from the 1974 tornado

The 1974 tornados followed the same path as the April tornados. The 1974 tornados followed the same path as the April tornados.

WAFF's Bobby Shuttleworth was living with her parents when the last major outbreak accursed.

"In 1974, I was a freshmen at what was then Calhoun Junior College," said Shuttleworth. "A lot of the storm damage, back then, was north of here on Highway 31 in Tanner."

"In 1974 we had two large tornados and then two or three smaller tornados. We had 18 deaths", said White, director of the Emergency Management Agency in Limestone County.

Using a clear plastic sheeting, White shows the pathway of the 1974 tornado in blue and the pathway of the April tornados in green.

"The tracks, I mean they're almost on top of each other", said White.

The results were the same in Lawrence County. Hillard Frost was there when the storms hit.  "We had 16 killed in the one in '74," said Frost. The April twister's pathway was nearly identical to the 1974 tracks.

Aline and Chris Norwood and other family members were in their house when the tornado hit in April. Local residents said it's the third time a house on the property was destroyed by a tornado since the 1930's. As a 4 year old, she barley remembers the '74 event. 

"The Mennonites had come down to help rebuild everything that was destroyed in this area", said Norwood.   

Kevin Knupp is a climatologist and researcher who said scientists know tornados take the same pathway, they just don't know why.  

"The question is do surface features trigger instabilities that can assist in this?" said Knupp. "And that's an active area of research that we're looking at right now."

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