Jackson Man Remembers 1974 Storms
NORTHEAST JACKSON, Tenn. — For some West Tennesseans, this storm system brings with it some haunting memories. Exactly 40 years ago on Thursday, the super outbreak of 1974, more than 30 tornadoes swept through 13 states. The tornadoes claimed 335 lives and injured thousands of others. In Jackson, Mickey Pearcy’s home was destroyed by a spin-off storm. “I’ve never seen nothing so tore up. It’s like an airplane coming in and you know dropping some bombs,” Pearcy said. “I mean the trailers were torn apart, upside down. Laying over here, laying over there,” Pearcy, who was 19 at the time, said he first called his mom. “I told her that ain’t no need in coming home because the home is upside down,” he said. Pearcy said he remembers seeing a mattress in this pool where two kids landed after the tornado tore through their home. “It threw them from lot one over in the pool and God had to have been with them. They didn’t fall off the mattress. I know it seems unbelievable but that’s the honest to God truth,” he explained. He is still amazed no one was hurt in his neighborhood and over the next few days, more amazing discoveries. “I saw a straw sticking in a tree, from that tornado and the Exxon close by Jackson State, I found my grandmother’s picture over there. That’s what a quarter mile, half mile away?,” he said. To this day, he said severe weather scares him especially on such an eerie anniversary. “I hope it don’t happen again, hope it don’t happen today, or ever again,” Pearcy said. In Tennessee, the 1974 storms killed 50 people, injured more than 600 and caused 30 million dollars in damage.