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Shattuck Northwest Oklahoman
11 Apr 1947
Page 1

EDITION HELD UP

To cover tornado news NWO went to press Friday monring this week. Of necessity much other news is held for next issue.--Editor.

TORNADO CLAIMS MANY LIVES

Scores Injures As Storm Hits Higgins, Glazier and Woodward

The devastating tornado of Wednesday night, April 9, touched White Deer at about 3:15 p.m., left Canadian to the right, followed Highway 60 until 5:35 p.m. to crush Glazier, a town that is no more, and for one hour and ten minutes built-up a fury to strike a terrible blow to unwarned people and property in our neighboring town of Higgins, in which business and residential property was leveled. At both Glazier and Higgins, and in rural areas, scores of dead were reported, and the injured ran into the hundreds. Tornado’s path across Texas and Oklahoma was estimated at from two to five miles in width.

Freight Cars Toppled

To start the demolition, nineteen cars were blown from a Santa Fe freight train at White Deer. Storm’s path was north of Canadian River at Canadian, Texas.

Glazier Wiped Off

Rough terrain in storm’s path appeared to increase its fury, until when Glazier was reached without warning at 5:35 p.m., practically every building was turned to kindling, and many citizens were either killed or badly maimed. Glazier, a thriving trading point in the early days, was reduced to nothing more than a memory.

Higgins Is Wrecked

The storm’s fury had not diminished as it struck our neighboring town of Higgins, Texas, at 6:45 p.m., without the slightest warning. The thriving town with a population of about 750 friendly Texans was hit such a devasting blow that emergency help was rushed into the area by the American Red Cross, including mobile units to feed the population. It is believed not a Higgins home completely escaped damage, most of them being reduced to crushed heaps of lumber or to splinters which scattered over the countryside. First National Bank building, with all the windows blown in and the contents badly wrecked, appeared as the only business structure otherwise standing intact. The power plant was demolished, water supply cut off and damage to gas lines made it necessary to close the gates.

First word of the Higgins disaster came from B. S. Mowery, farmer south of town, who first rushed to the scene to pickup a load of the wounded for the Shattuck Hospital. At his excited warning, the Shattuck fire department left immediately, but had to cut a path through wire strewn across Highway 60. Following were scores of automobiles loaded with men anxious to render aid to the great number of injured Higgins residents. A line of these cars started arriving at entrance of Shattuck Hospital to unload scores of the injured who filled the rooms of both hospital and clinic building, with each side of halls being lined with cots. About fifty cots were set up in the Clinic reception room.

More Doctors, Nurses

The eight local doctors and staff of nurses all did heroic work. Many former nurses and the women of Shattuck hurriedly volunteered to serve throughout the night.

Diminishing supply of blood plasma, the need for additional doctors and nurses, provided a problem upon discovery that no telephone circuits were available and Western Union wires were down. Resumption of telephone service permitting sending out an S. O. S. call which first brought four doctors and four nurses with supplies from the veterans Hospital at Amarillo, Texas. They arrived about 3 a.m., Thursday. At about 4:15 a.m., Thursday a huge plane landed at Gate airport bringing crew and a total of 22 doctors and nurses from Tinker Field, Oklahoma City, and this number was divided between Woodward and Shattuck. The plane was loaded with additional needed medical supplies. Thinker Field’s Commanding Officer was up rushing departure of C-54, piloted by Captains Marsh and Boggs, with 1/Lt. Edward Adams and two crewmen aboard.

Fire Fighters There

Known to have answered the emergency were fire fighters from Shattuck, Arnett and Amarillo, Texas. Eight men and a nurse came from Amarillo to Higgins and then to Shattuck, where they rendered genuine aid. Highway patrolmen from both Oklahoma and Texas were on emergency duty, and permission was necessary to gain entrance into either Higgins, Texas, or Woodward.

The scores of injured brought to the hospital here were water soaked and cold, the cement dust ground into their clothing, covered their faces and ‘set’ in their hair. The bedding of the hospital was made adequate when our good women rushed home for folding cots, warm blankets, quilts and bedsheets.

Shattuck Untouched.

Stories over radio and in metropolitan press in some instances leave the impression that, because many are in the local hospital, our city has been hard hit. That is not true, no local damage has been done. However, many of the finer homes and outbuildings in the rural sections southwest of town and east and southeast of here, in the storm’s path, have been badly damaged. Some have been killed and many, many have been injured.

More Death Reported

The list of dead is bound to be increased. This issue is being held up to print latest information. During Thursday night it is reported that four or five more deaths occurred.

Names Missing Roster

Roster of the dead and Injured are as complete as possible under the conditions. We do know, however, that many names of injured were missed and do not appear on the Roster of Injured on this page.

Woodward Badly Hit

Covering news of devastated area as being completely done by Associated Press, United Press Oklahoma City and Amarillo daily newspapers. Because of the complete coverage on the damage to Woodward, we leave the task to them.

Funerals Scheduled

Aley Stout, 23, Shattuck M. E. Church, Friday, 2 p.m.

Chas. E. Akers, retired rancher, Follett, Texas, M. E. Church, Friday at 4:30 p.m.

Mrs. Aldon Brummett, 22, at Shattuck M. E. church, Saturday at 2 p.m.

Donald Ray Schultz 7, at Shattuck Christian Church, Saturday at 4 p.m.

Red Cross On the Job

Responding quickly to the urgent call received from Mrs. Carl Mason, County Red Cross Finance Chairman, Henry Eichman, assistnat director of Diaster Service, american Red Cross, St. Louis, Mo., an dMiss Edith Nelson, Nurse Consultant, arrived in Shattuck yesterday to take charge of the National American Red Cross work in this area. He plans to coordinate the work of Red Cross workers in Oklahoma and Texas counties in areas where the tornado of Wednesday night killed many, injured a number not yet determined and left many looking back on their homes which were leveled almost without exception. Persons who will need assistance are asked to watch newspapers for relief programs now being organized at the towns hit hardest.

 

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