Payne, Bill 1970

From SWC Oral History Collection
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Bill Payne, area Civil Defense Director, discusses preliminary weather events of the 1970 Lubbock tornado, the damages it inflicted, the response of the Emergency Operations Center to the disaster, and the medical problems surrounding such a disaster.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Bill Payne

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: June 10 and August 19, 1970

Location: Lubbock, Texas

Interviewer: Stan Valcik, David Murrah

Length: 3 hours


Tape 1, Side 1: Recollection of actions prior to tornado, Describes weather conditions prior to storm, Events and actions at actual time of storm discussed, Mentions mobilization of emergency operations and problems of communication, Defines function as civil defense director in emergency, Involvement of hospitals in emergency plan described.

Tape 1, Side 2: Difficulty of implementing changes in emergency policies mentioned, Medical and hospital responsibilities and potential casualty problem discussed, Mentions medical problems concerning preparation for a large gathering at a rock festival, Comments on medical facilities in towns surrounding Lubbock, Analyzes low number of casualties, Describes movement and warning of thunderstorm before actual tornado, Weather conditions mapped at Emergency Operations Center, Events surrounding actual impact of tornado again mentioned.

Tape 2, Side 1: Information indicating severity of storm reviewed, Declaration of emergency situation discussed, Mentions assistance from outside sources, Preliminary assessment of damage described, Comments on extent of damage in Country Club area and elsewhere in city, Path of tornado pictured, Discusses activities during morning hours of the following day, Deviated method of damage assessment from written emergency plan, Use of damage assessment figures analyzed.

Tape 2, Side 2: Continuation of discussion of dollar assessment, Mentions water shortage due to loss of power, Damage to communication systems recalled, Established KFYO as official emergency broadcast station, Language problem with Mexican-American citizens discussed, Mentions again the emergency broadcasting system, Degree of loss of communication at actual time of tornado determined.

Tape 3, Side 1: Discusses time phases and personalities as they responded to the disaster, Mentions names of people who assisted, Formation and background of emergency Operations Center (EOC) reviewed, Description of EOC communication facilities, Gives general information concerning structure and equipment of EOC, Possible improved antenna and communication set-ups mentioned, Relates use of funds for civil defense.

Tape 3, Side 2: Blank

Tape 4, Side 1: Tornado (May 11, 1970), Activities, Weather, Police Department, Civil Defense Center, Response, Warnings, Radar reports, Funnel clouds, Power failure, National Guard, Telephone service, Hospitals, Civil Defense Center, Communication problems.

Tape 4, Side 2: Tornado (continued), Damages, Deaths, Aftermath, Effect.

Range Dates: 1970

Bulk Dates: 1970

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


Thank you for your interest in this oral history interview. Our oral history collection is available to patrons in the Southwest Collection's Reading Room, located on the campus of Texas Tech University. For reading room hours, visit our website. Please contact Reference Staff at least one week prior to your visit to ensure the oral history you are interested in will be available. Due to copyright issues, duplications of our oral histories can only be made for family members. If an oral history transcript has been made available online, the link will be provided on this page. More information on accessing our oral histories is located here. Preferred citation style can be found here.