June 2, 1965 marked one of the most tragic nights in Hale Center’s history. A powerful EF3 tornado barreled through the heart of the small town, leaving four people dead, countless injured and a community in ruins.
Fifty years later, the people of Hale Center are keeping a record of the tornado’s damage and the progress the town made since then in a book called “A Town Too Proud to Die.”
The book features eyewitness accounts from about 70 people, including the town’s mayor, Eugene Carter.
“It was a very traumatic thing,” Carter said. “I was in a cellar across the street from [my] house and we heard the debris hitting the cellar. I had to walk downtown and the streets were littered with debris, and it was quite revealing.”
The book will be divided into three sections: the story of the tornado and the damage it left, along with people’s recollections of the disaster, and details of how much the town has developed.
“Some people were wondering if the town would come back from that,” Carter said. “We indicated that we were here to stay and it was an encouraging thing, really.”
The book is expected to be released next month.
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