LUBBOCK, Texas — On May 11, 1970, a tornado blew through Lubbock, killing 26 people. Years later, the city is paying respects to those who lost their lives.
On Thursday, May 9, the design of the Lubbock Tornado Memorial Gateway was unveiled, showcasing the multi-million dollar project.
Tornado survivor, Irasema Velasquez said she remembered the day the tornado hit, and hiding with her mom and siblings.
“We all felt something was about to happen,” Velasquez said. “We all ran to the hall, and as soon as we got there the windows popped and the walls knocked us down on the floor.”
Velasquez said it’s an honor to survive, and now see this project coming to life.
Lubbock National Bank is the lead donor, giving a million dollars to the memorial.
LNB President, William Ware said the project will honor the victims, while beautifying downtown Lubbock as well.
“The project itself focuses on the memories of the fallen,” Ware said. “The path of the tornado, the destructive power they have, reminds us of how real it was for the local citizens that were alive at the time.”
Ware said construction is expected to start summer 2019, and hopefully will wrap up before the 50th anniversary of the tornado.
“We were all in because this means a lot to our history,” Ware said. “It means a lot to the community and of course we want to help in the downtown revitalization effort.”