On April 3, 1974 people in Xenia saw black smoke rising, like a wall. Then the wall started turning, in slow motion and they knew what was coming. It was an F-5 tornado. There were twisters all through Ohio and in other states- 148 were confirmed that day throughout the United States and Canada.
The tornado that struck Xenia killed 32 people and injured over 1000. Two National Guardsmen also died fighting a fire. Hundreds of homes were shredded into bits and downtown was demolished.
A prominent African-American Xenia resident was inducted into the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame Thursday morning.
During the fifth-annual Civil Rights Hall of Fame ceremony at the Ohio Statehouse, Anison James Colbert expressed that the Hall of Fame honor was the best day of his life and told the crowd the motto he's trying to live by.
"Good better best - never let it rest until your good becomes better and your better becomes best," Colbert shared at the ceremony.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, issued weather warnings this week that are credited with saving lives in Oklahoma. And it, like other government organizations, is dealing with the impact of the federal budget cuts knows as sequestration. The agency reports however, they will still maintain its critical missions.
Thirty-nine years ago - April 3, 1974 - A “Super outbreak” of storms produced 148 tornadoes within a 24-hour period. It’s reported that during the height of activity, 15 tornadoes were on the ground simultaneously. Nationwide, 315 people were killed, and well over 5000 were injured in 13 states, and Canada in which tornadoes occurred.