By Mr. Joe Venegas

What were you doing in Lubbock in May 1970?

After school me and my younger brother were out on the yard pulling tiny weeds from our front yard.

What do you remember from the night of May 11, 1970?

I remember the rain starting and then the hail, strong winds and the rain just got worse. Right before 9 pm the silence began, that's when my dad told us "Let's Go." We took off to St. Joseph Church about 6 blocks from our house. We got there safe and sound...then about 20 minutes a large BOOM shook the church basement. The lights went out and the women started to scream...I thought, this is it, I was 12 years old. Candles started to be lit. After several hours people started coming into the church basement hurt pretty bad. Blood everywhere! In the morning we slowly walked out of the church and there was mass destruction as the eyes could see.

What was your reaction to the destruction you saw in the days following the storm? Did the storm damage your home, workplace, or school?

The storm destroyed our home completely.

Did you know anyone who was injured or killed by the tornado?

No, my parents did.

Did you or anyone you know help with the emergency response or cleanup following the tornado? What was your role? Explain.


How did the tornado experience change you? How did it change the City of Lubbock?

It changed for the better.