City leaders reflect on Lubbock Tornado, 50 years later


LUBBOCK, Texas — Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the Lubbock Tornado, which ripped through downtown, costing 26 people their lives.

The city has since started construction on a memorial near Avenue Q and Glenna Goodacre Boulevard, but due to the coronavirus, the dedication has been moved to 2021.

Since the community can’t gather, Mayor Dan Pope asked that citizens turn on their front porch lights on Monday, at 9:45 p.m. Church bells will also ring 26 times starting at 6:55 p.m., once for each victim.

Dr. Jim Granberry was mayor during 1970 and said he was sitting at home when he heard there had been a tornado.

“We had no idea that anything like this was in the making,” Granberry said. “It was, absolutely astonishing at the amount of damage that was done. The street signs were blown down, I went out and proclaimed a city emergency.”

Granberry said through the tragedy, there was some good that came out of it. There was a $7 million bond package passed that set in motion the Lubbock Civic Center, city parks and Canyon Lakes.

“Even though the tornado was a terrible, terrible thing,” Granberry said. “It really brought the city together, and I think we’re going to see the fruition of that through the memorial.”

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