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Tornado April 29, 1971: Six lost their lives in Adair County

Coverage of the tornado of April 29, 1971 from the Columbia Statesman archives; six people lost their lives and a path of destruction was left behind. Click for the First installment of these stories.

Storm Claims six Adair County lives; Adair hardest hit in human suffering

By Pete Walker

Near the Mt. Pleasant Church on the Holmes Bend Road, the storm claimed three victims, Mr. and Mrs. Dewey Smith and Mrs. Hershel Cundiff.

Mrs. Cundiff, recently widowed, was staying overnight in the Smith home. The house was completely demolished by the winds. Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Cundiff were killed and Mr. Smith died a short time after rescuers had taken him to a hospital. Mrs. Cundiff's home, a few hundred feet away, withstood the ravages of the storm.

Also dead in the storm were Douglas Froedge, seven year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Froedge; Ruth Ann McCarroll, and her mother, Robbie McCarroll, 27. Thirty-five to forty injured persons were treated. Adair Memorial Hospital, where most of the victims were taken, was briefly paralyzed after a community power failure and lightning damage to the auxiliary power system.

A Greer Brothers and Young Construction Company generator was used to power emergency outside lights while Raymond Young, Columbia electrical engineer, repaired the hospital generator. Columbia doctors worked tirelessly throughout the night, comforting as well as healing the stunned survivors.

By their side, providing the spiritual comfort so needed, were local ministers. Bro. Paul Keneipp and Bro. Raymond Martin spent the long hours of the night at the hospital and their presence was an obvious source of comfort for anxious and bereaved families. Hospitals in Glasgow, Campbellsville, Greensburg and Louisville also received victims of the storm.

This story was posted on 2022-04-30 20:55:35
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