Few Texans can describe, first-hand, the devastation that the Waco tornado wreaked on that fateful day over 70 years ago.

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The year is 1953. Polio vaccines were about to be introduced to the public as they see on T.V. that across the pond, England crowns the young Elizabeth II as Queen following the tragic loss of her father, King George VI.

Down in Waco, TX, life continued as normal up until the morning of May 11th, when a weather warning was issued from the New Orleans Weather Bureau for Texas. Many shrugged this warning off assuming it had no merit.

A cruel reality

At about 4:10 pm on May 11th, 1953, a tornado touched down south of Waco, destroying a home on its pilgrimage north.

Heavy rainfall veiled the intensity of this twister, causing eyewitnesses to miss the incoming one-third-of-a-mile-long tornado approaching their location.

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Devastating stats

114 Texans lost their lives from this twister while injuring nearly 600 more.

A 6-story furniture store collapsed during the storm, killing 30 people in the process. Survivors often waited up to 14 hours for rescue while trapped under debris.

Property damages include over 600 homes and businesses obliterated while damaging over 1000 others. The Dr. Pepper Museum in Waco was no exception at this time as their history, along with the city, is marred by this natural disaster.

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Damage costs totaled roughly $51 million at the time--that's nearly $600 million today.

Never underestimate a storm's potential. I'm not saying you should run for the hills every time high winds occur, but it's important to know the capacity for danger in even the smallest of risks.

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