"Listen to the big wind": A survivor's tale of the Woodward, Oklahoma Tornado of 1947

What still ranks as the deadliest tornado to ever hit the State of Oklahoma swept up from Texas on the evening of April 9, 1947, striking the town of Woodward at 8:42 p.m. with the power of an F5 storm. At least 107 people were killed and nearly another 1,000 injured in Woodward alone. Over 100 city blocks, and more than 1,000 homes and businesses in the city were destroyed.

Margaret Renton Chesney and her infant daughter, Meda, were home alone when the storm hit and the house collapsed around them. Days later, Mrs. Chesney described the experience in a handwritten letter to her parents.



Baby Meda & her mother

Click on any page to read the original letter, or click here for a typed transcription.
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Click here for photographs of the Chesney home after the tornado

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