Warren, AR Tornado Damage, Mar 1975


Warren, Ark. (UPI) -- A tornado spun out of a heavy thunderstorm and smashed through a residential area of this southeastern Arkansas farming town Friday night, killing five persons and injuring more than 70 others.
"It tore a pretty good strip through an eight block area," said Arkansas State police trooper BILL YOUNG.
The Red Cross said the twister destroyed 50 homes and heavily damaged several hundred others.
The tornado also caused heavy damage at the Potlatch, Co., paper plant, the major industry in the town of 6,500 persons. State police said gas leaks caused by the tornado started several fires at the plant.
"The Potlatch plant was pretty well wiped out," he said.
YOUNG said the tornado apparently first touched down in a heavy thunderstorm near El Dorado 60 miles south of Warren but lifted back into the clouds without doing any damage.
He said the same twister dipped out of a thunderstorm on the southwest corner of Warren and cut a two-block wide path through the southern part of town.
Authorities said streets in the area were partially blocked with debris and telephone service and other utilities were disrupted.
State police said five persons were killed and 74 injured. Eighteen of the injured were hospitalized.
"They are still going through the wreckage," said JOE WEBB, a Red Cross official in Little Rock.
"Our first report indicates about 50 homes destroyed and 300 to 400 homes damaged so badly they are no longer liveable."
The Red Cross said four of the dead had been identified as FAYE McKINISTREY, JOHN FREY, DAVID BOYD and ALICE CLANTON. Their ages were not available and the fifth victim had not been identified.
WEBB said the Red Cross had set up a shelter in the Warren YMCA for the persons left homeless by the twister.
National guard units were sent to Warren to help move the injured from the rubble and to prevent looting.
Warren reporter BOB NEWTON said some of the victims were being taken to Bradley County Memorial Hospital stacked in the back of pickup trucks and on makeshift plywood stretchers.
Warren Mayor JOHN FRAZER, who witnessed the tornado from his patio, said the twister touched down about 100 yards away and destroyed a restaurant.

The Daily Courier Connellsville Pennsylvania 1975-03-29

Listing of the fatalities from The Eagle Democrat of 1975-04-02
ELLIS CLANTON, 61, Warren.


Oh boy do I remember!!!

I had just gotten off work at Sykes Flooring and drove to my then girlfriend Belinda Allen's house on Wheeler St. She had to stay home that night to help her mom, Betty Allen with a bunking party for her little sister. If memory serves me right there were 9 total in the house. We got a call warning us just before it hit. The old 3 story Potlatch house was reduced to less than one story. All of us were able to exit and get safely across the street to a house that only suffered minor damage. Then we realized what remained of the house was on fire. Things get a little vague for me but I remember it was discovered I had severe cuts to my back. Some how an ambulance made it into where I was and carried me to the hospital. It was crowded with people injured as well. Dr. Crow sutured my cuts out in a hallway somewhere. I awoke later in a room in the maternity ward. Leanna Richardson Mcclendon was sitting in the room with me. Mrs. Billie made her stay there till my parents got there. I stayed in the hospital until that Wednesday afternoon.

Warren tornado 1975

I was 16 at time ,remember well that night
My Granmother lived on Butler st . I lived in Hermitage,
Dad sent me to get my Granmother to stay the night at our house and when I pulled up at her house is when it struck . I'm 52 now and as if it was yesterday every time a bad storm pops up my eyes to the sky....

Dorothy Faye Mckinstry was

Dorothy Faye Mckinstry was my grandmother. I never knew her. My Mon was 16 when she died. Can't believe I came across this article.

I was 16 and remember

I was 16 and remember vividly the tornado in Warren. Two of the women who died lived across the street from us. My father was the chairman of the Red Cross for the county, as well as a disaster relief organizer so I got to see first hand, places others could not go since the town was "shut down". The National Guard was brought in and chain gangs. I still have an unhealthy fear of tornadoes due to that fateful day...

Warren Tornado Survivor

I was actually in Warren the day of that tornado. I was nine months old at the time. My parents had gone out to eat at Ann's Restaurant in the southern part of Warren. I do not remember anything about it of course. My parent's told me it took them a long time to get out of town because of the damage. The widow of Ellis Clanton goes to church with me in Warren. She turned 93 years old last week.