Glazier, TX Tornado, Apr 1947

1,305 Persons Injured in Panhandle Tornado

.....Bearing the brunt of the storm in Texas were Higgins, Lipscomb Co., with 34 killed and 232 injured and Glazier, Hemphill Co., 13 dead and 40 injured.....

The Texas communities of Glazier and Higgins were literally blown off the map.

An airplane pilot, Roy L. Thrush, who flew over the area before dawn Thursday, picked out signs of the mass destruction by dim moonlight.

"I saw boxcars blown from the railroad where the Texas joins the Oklahoma Panhandle," Thrush related, "I started looking for Glazier but the only building still standing was a filling station on the highway. The rest of the village, from what I could tell, was obliterated....

Glazier had a population of 150, Higgins, 750. In Glazier, only one building was left standing, and vigilantes were formed to halt looting....

J. L. Swindle, editor of the Pampa Daily News, visited Glazier and reported: "The intensity of the winds was evidenced by the fact the bodies of two persons, together when the storm hit, were found almost three miles apart Many bodies were mutilated by the wind alone."

"Only one house was left habitable. Heavy highway construction machinery was twisted out of shape. Large trees were shattered."

He said the exact death list was difficult to determine because no one could give the number of men stationed there with railroad section gangs and highway construction crews.

Swindle said neighbors and relatives at Glazier were stunned by the driving rain and stiff winds as they sought victims. Angry lightning flashed, and grotesque forms of gutted buildings and crazy shapes of tattered trees jutted into the still cloudy skies. Flashlights provided the only illumination as rescuers probed debris. Clearing skies in midmorning permitted completion of the search for bodies.

"Glazier, with its frame buildings, succumbed without a fight to the turbulent winds," Swindle wrote....

Two Little Funnels and a Big One.
One of the few persons to see the tornado and live to tell of it was Alan Hawkins of Higgins. Said Hawkins:

"I was driving between Miami and Canadian when I saw three funnels -- to little funnels and one long funnel -- traveling together. I stopped and crouched down on the floor boards."

"Rocks as big as by head began hurtling through the window of my car. None of them hit me, but they broke all the windows and left big dents all over the car."

"Then I felt the car shaking, and all of a sudden it was sailing through the air. It landed just like an airplane in a cow pasture 500 feet from where I parked."

"The three funnels disappeared and I was able to start the car and despite the beating it took, I got as far as Glazier when it stopped dead."

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 11 Apr 1947

Continued