1970 Lubbock Tornado Photograph Collection
On May 11, 1970, a category F5 tornado struck the city of Lubbock, Texas, affecting roughly a quarter of the town. Thousands of homes sustained damage and several hundred were completely destroyed. The damage totaled $250 million (approximately $1.5 billion if it had occurred in 2014), 26 people lost their lives, and many more were injured. Not until an F5 tornado struck Joplin, Missouri, in 2011 was a town’s central business district so devastated.
Almost all of the issues of Lubbock’s newspaper, the Avalanche-Journal, dating from that time can be found among our collections.
Other documentation of the 1970 tornado, and meteorological events, can be found in our Dr. Testuya Thedore Fujita Papers and Texas Tech University Wind Science and Engineering Research Center Records.