Fort Worth Tornado

This is the last of a series of posts suggested by a recent pictorial article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about memorable events which have taken place here.

It was about 6:15 or 6:20 on the evening of March 28, 2000, when Sharon and I heard the sirens go off. It takes a pretty major weather event to make that happen, so we quickly glanced out our driveway door and looked to the southwest, since, as usual, that’s where the wind was coming from.

Seeing nothing in that direction, we moved to our back patio to look to the north. That’s when we saw it. We were in no danger, since it was some distance away and the wind was not blowing it toward us, but what we saw was a huge tornado.

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It touched down just west of—and moving toward—downtown. The tornado was approximately a quarter of a mile wide, and it moved along the ground for some four miles before beginning to dissipate.

In its wake, it left 100 homes damaged, in addition to several major downtown buildings. Total damage is estimated at about $560 million in current dollars. For a storm that only lasted about ten minutes, that’s a lot of damage.

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The Bank One Tower, pictured above in the wake of the storm, was one of the most beautiful in the area before the storm hit. This building, along with several other severely damaged high-rises, was eventually rebuilt and now houses residential apartments.

Calvary Cathedral, pictured below after the storm went by, wasn’t so fortunate. It was damaged beyond repair. The church eventually bought another building away from downtown and moved it, leaving this one to be razed.

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One consequence of this disastrous ten minutes was the beginning of a new trend in city living. The rebuilding of the Bank One Tower with residential apartments sparked a major move toward downtown high-rise living. As a fan of the sprawling, low-density cities of the southwest, I personally find this trend sad. We are becoming more and more a high-rise, high-density city like New York. As usual, though, I’m in the minority on this. Most locals see this trend as a good thing.

What natural disasters have changed the character of your hometown?

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WANA: We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.

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For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.

For more information about his books, click on “Books” above.

Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.

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About David N. Walker

David N. Walker is a Christian husband, father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years in the health insurance industry, during which time he traveled much of the United States. He started writing about 20 years ago and has been a member and leader in several writers' groups. Christianity 101: The Simplified Christian Life, the devotional Heaven Sent and the novella series, Fancy, are now available in paperback and in Kindle and Nook formats, as well as through Smashwords and Kobo. See information about both of these by clicking "Books" above.
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5 Responses to Fort Worth Tornado

  1. Google says:

    There’s definately a great deal to find out about this topic.
    I like all the points you’ve made.

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  2. Tornados scare the stuffing out of me. Strangely, I’m not as frightened of earthquakes. But I am a Californian, so that’s probably it. 🙂 I’m not a big fan of high densitiy living either. I’m sure there are advantages, such as the possibility of having work, grocery shopping etc. every nearby, but I prefer a little bit of land and being able to see the sky from the ground.

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  3. Hi David, Storms and tornados have changed in intensity over the years. As a kid growing up in Kansas we knew to respect tornados and one year dad lost a lot of cattle to high water but we never saw anything of the magnitude of what’s happening all over the US. Each time we go to Little Rock, mile after mile is littered with the spoils of the last tornado. It will probably be years before the entire area is cleaned up due to all the toxic chemicals.

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