Covering Kentucky

Apr 3, 2014 5:38 PM

Frankfort Survivor Remembers 1974 Tornado On 40th Anniversary

The storm that blew through Franklin County on April 3, 1974, killed three people and injured dozens of others.

The damage left behind was overwhelming. Lives were lost all across Kentucky and for many people, living through it was worse than they ever imagined.

"Everybody had never experienced anything like that. The power of it is just in everyone's memory," said Hank Hancock.

Then first-term State Representative Hank Hancock says he's never seen anything like that storm, and back then, they didn't have cell phones, so finding family took time.

"Wires were across the roads. Telephone polls were down. It was just unbelievable," Hancock said.

Hancock's farm ripped to shreds was only the beginning. He says his aunt lived in Jett, a small community hit hardest in Franklin County, and her home was leveled along with hundreds of others. They found her alive that day, but a husband and wife he knew well were killed, including a third person.

"It's just unbelievable the people who lost everything else," he said.

But what Hancock saw in days to come was equally unbelievable - complete strangers helping one another.

"The actual generosity of the people and how they would come together in an emergency like that and work to do those types of things," he said.

An unimaginable experience he'll never forget.

A documentary about the storms of April 6, 1974, "Day of the Killer Tornadoes," was scheduled to be screened Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Frankfort Theater.

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