Watch Newly Remastered Footage of the 1964 Wichita Falls Tornado
These dudes are so much calmer than I would’ve been.
On April 3, 1964, the day known as Black Friday, Wichita Falls’ own KAUZ-TV made history by broadcasting live footage of the violent F5 tornado that struck Wichita Falls and Sheppard Air Force Base.
Even though the station had broadcast live footage of a smaller tornado in 1959, the footage wasn’t preserved on videotape, making the 1964 tornado the first to be broadcast live and preserved on tape.
The footage of a program that documented the tornado and its aftermath was recently remastered in 1080p HD by cinematographer/storm chaser Blake Naftel.
The weather team at the time did an outstanding job of tracking the tornado from start to finish. They were on the scene as the tornado formed just north of F.M. 369 and Seymour Highway at around 2:35 that afternoon.
The team then changed their position, where they were able to capture the tornado as it carved a path of destruction through the north side of town.
The footage eventually turns to the aftermath of the tornado, focusing on the heavily damaged Sunset Terrace housing development.
The slow-moving tornado cut a path that was several hundred yards wide and 5.6 miles long. The storm claimed the lives of 7 people.
While the Terrible Tuesday tornado that hit Wichita Falls on April 10, 1979 is probably the most well-known tornado to hit the city, it was rated an F4, making the Black Friday tornado the only F5 to ever hit the Wichita Falls.