Fort Defiance grad remembers 1974 tornado and the damage to the school
Fort Defiance, VA. (WHSV) - One of the most powerful severe weather events in the country was the 1974 super outbreak.
There were three lines of storms that led to 148 tornadoes in less than twenty four hours between April 3-4.
Tornado #145 touched down in Augusta County in the very early morning hours of April 4.
The tornado damaged Fort Defiance high school in the early morning hours, thankfully before school would have started.
Steven Wine was in 8th grade at the time, and just happened to be the first one at school that day.
“It was kind of a crazy morning, at 4 a.m. there was this huge storm.” Wine describes how the whole family woke up, the storm was so strong that they though the roof was going to come off of the house.
“I got into the school and all the alarms were going off, but I could hear water like gushing, somewhere, but there was nobody around, not a soul.” Wine said.
“There was water gushing out from the chemistry lab door, and there was a window in the door and I could look in, and the roof was gone.” Wine said.
“Water was coming out from under the door, and then going around the corner and going down all those stairs " Wine recalled.
According to newspaper reports, the water damage from the rain went from the top floor to the cafeteria.
More damage reports came in from the surrounding areas.
Thankfully the tornado stuck before any classes started that day.
It was reported that Trooper A.W Woolfrey spotted the tornado that morning.
Wine says finally people started to show up at the school and he made them aware of the damage.
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