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billyf

Tornado Outbreak In Houston Back In May Of 1983

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Anyone remember this?

I was 7 years old living on the north side in Aldine. It was the early moring around 3:00 am. The date was May, 20 1983. My dad had just gotten home from work and was heading to bed (he always worked nights). I woke up to my parents talking and when to the bathroom to pee. Just as I finished still in the bathroom I heard this loud crack of thunder. A few seconds later my dad came in the bedroom yelling to my mom that there was a tornado. I gues he went to the kichen to get something to drink. There was a noise that sounded a cross between a train and a jet plain. I ran out with my mom to the livingroom. We carfully looked out that back sliding window and saw the pine trees which were as tall as a two story house bent over touching the ground. The power was out and the winds were at least 80 mph. The lightning was almost continous. I guess someone forgot to lock the front door because it suddenly blew open. My dad got mad because the door was not locked! For a second I thought my brother was outside and was comming in to get out of the rain (don't ask me why) The wind died down, but the heavy rain and lightning continued. We turned on my battery powered radio and listened to the weather reports saying there was a tornado on the ground in north Houston. After about 45 minutes my dad told me to go back to bed because I had school in a few hours. I went back to bed and the storm had moved away, but the lightning was still very frequent. I woke up to go to school and the power was still out. The back yard had limbs and debry all over it. The leaves on the tree's were bowed from the high wind. I went to school at Inez Carroll located between W MT Houston and West RD. The tree's all had the same bowed leaves. At school we did a tornado drill because there was a treat for more stoms, but nothing else ever happened. This Tornado injured 7 people and killed one. In all that storm system spawned 48 tornados, there were 6 fatalities over three days. BTW our neighbor across the street had her back padio roof blown off from this tornado.

I have loved storms ever since and could not believe there was a site that kept a recond of these things. Here is the link and yes I posted the same story on the website. http://www.tornadohistoryproject.com/map.p...=19830520.48.61

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_North...rnado_outbreaks

http://www.tornadohistoryproject.com/torna...amp;p=1&s=1 (zoom in to se texas)

Edited by billyf

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I remember that very well. I was nine at the time and experienced the same sort of evening. I remember my parents opening all the windows and doors of the house (we lived in Northwest Houston off of 290/Pinemont) so that the air pressure wouldn't build up.

The next day (or maybe it was earlier that same day) at school we got word of another Tornado warning and we all piled into a windowless AV room next to our school library at St. Rose of Lima.

1983 was certainly a year of storms as Hurricane Alicia came thru on August 18th. I still remember the news coverage of that for weeks after. The police blocked off all the streets downtown because glass rained down from the tall skyscapers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Alicia

Somebody needs to post video clips on the newscoverage to youtube!

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I remember that very well. I was nine at the time and experienced the same sort of evening. I remember my parents opening all the windows and doors of the house (we lived in Northwest Houston off of 290/Pinemont) so that the air pressure wouldn't build up.

The next day (or maybe it was earlier that same day) at school we got word of another Tornado warning and we all piled into a windowless AV room next to our school library at St. Rose of Lima.

1983 was certainly a year of storms as Hurricane Alicia came thru on August 18th. I still remember the news coverage of that for weeks after. The police blocked off all the streets downtown because glass rained down from the tall skyscapers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Alicia

Somebody needs to post video clips on the newscoverage to youtube!

Opening the windows eh? Common error. If a tornado is going to hit your house, it doesn't matter if the windows are open or not. Studies have shown that the pressure isn't what does it. It's allowing wind inside your home. That's why, more times than not, that you will see such extreme damage from hurricanes. Chances are the garage, the weakest part of the home, will fail first and allow wind inside. Once inside, it has nowhere to go but up and the roof is one of the weakest parts of the house, so off it comes.

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I remember that very well. I was nine at the time and experienced the same sort of evening. I remember my parents opening all the windows and doors of the house (we lived in Northwest Houston off of 290/Pinemont) so that the air pressure wouldn't build up.

The next day (or maybe it was earlier that same day) at school we got word of another Tornado warning and we all piled into a windowless AV room next to our school library at St. Rose of Lima.

1983 was certainly a year of storms as Hurricane Alicia came thru on August 18th. I still remember the news coverage of that for weeks after. The police blocked off all the streets downtown because glass rained down from the tall skyscapers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Alicia

Somebody needs to post video clips on the newscoverage to youtube!

Sorry so long getting back. Yea there's clips on youtube of snow in Houston from 1981 and 1989, but no Alica. There use to be a news service in Houston where you could buy things like that, but I don't think their in business anymore. There has to be someone out there with a tape of it! Anyway Alica uprooted a large cottonwood tree in our front yard. We also lost power for two days.

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I don't remember this one. I have read that 1983 it rained a lot. Also, Hurricane Alicia came crashing into Houston. I do remember many other weather events in Houston.

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I remember there was a tornado that year that took out a bakery near the corner of Louetta and Stuebner-Airline.

 

First off sorry for the necro bump but this was the only topic I could find on the subject on the web.  I was going to Theiss Elementary school back then the tornado sailed over our house snapped our neighbors tree into the roof above our old garage that my parents had converted into a recreational room.  I was 5 years old at the time and that was easily the most terrifying moment of my childhood.  I remember Klein Square got completely obliterated especially the Bass & Meineke Auto Parts store that used to be there.

 

Looking at the Tornado History Project website it looks like this one is the closest but this is rendering too far north as it doesn't hit Louetta and Stuebner Airline: http://www.tornadohistoryproject.com/tornado/19830520.48.60

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I'm not sure what year it was, but I recall camping in Brazos bend state park with the scouts and being shaken awake by the scout master that I needed to get out of the tent and into the ditch cause there were tornadoes. It might have been 1983.

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The bellweather of tornado outbreaks in Houston should probably be awarded to the November 21, 1992 outbreak when 13 tornadoes went through the Houston area---some were on the ground simulatniously. The strongest of these tornadoes was an F4 tornado (modern day EF5) destroyed Channelview. Old news footage of that event shows well built brick homes being totally removed from their foundations leaving behind nothing but a slab.

 

Channel 11:

 

 

Channel 13:

 

 

More news coverage:

 

Edited by wxman
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The bellweather of tornado outbreaks in Houston should probably be awarded to the November 21, 1992 outbreak when 13 tornadoes went through the Houston area---some were on the ground simulatniously. The strongest of these tornadoes was an F4 tornado (modern day EF5) destroyed Channelview. Old news footage of that event shows well built brick homes being totally removed from their foundations leaving behind nothing but a slab.

 

You are absolutely correct that the November 1992 blows the May 1983 event away both in numbers, damage, scale.

 

That was my mom's 45th birthday.  She was living in Atascocita at the time so the Channelview tornado formed far enough south.  Her dad got extremely lucky the tornado that formed near Huffman formed just east of him.  The tornado that landed in Katy cruised just north of my dad's house and my high school (Cypress Creek) but I do remember it doing some pretty extensive damage to what is now the Red River Dance Hall & Saloon.  I forget what it was called back then I want to say Virginia City but I'm definitely not sure been 21 years nearly.

 

Anyways thanks for sharing the news clips I forgot the scope of the devastation and that was a sombering reminder.

 

T&P to those affected to the north.

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Just saw there have been more replies to this. As shown on one of the videos, the 1992 outbreak also caused some damage to some stores, homes and apartments from Clay Road and Highway 6 before tracking north and diminishing near 1960 and 249. One of the 1983 tornados also moved through this area.

 

The 1992 outbreak was worst in terms of damage (and intensity), but the 1983 outbreak spawned more tornados in SE Texas. It has practically been forgotten since most of the tornados were north of the Houston Metro area. Also there was just less news back then and few people owned VCR's. In fact I haven't been able to find a single video on it. Also it happened during the early morning hours when most people were sleeping and news crews were off. We got little from the November 1992 outbreak in the Aldine area so while I remember the event it wasn't too relevant to me. Just like people that didn't get anything from the 1983 outbreak tend to feel the same way.

 

One thing is for sure and that is that is we are overdo for another outbreak!

 

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/images/rtimages/crp/training/sr157.pdf

 

 

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