Rebuilding after the Storm - Louisville's Crescent Hill
biggest outbreaks of deadly tornadoes we have seen in the last 37 years. It brings back haunting memories for many people in Louisville. In April of 1974 the Tornado Super Outbreak touched the lives of the people of Louisvillein a very dramatic way. But out of the devastation, one Louisville neighborhood came back stronger than ever! There is hope for those communities that have been destroyed; may you find hope for rebuilding after the storm in the story of Louisville's Crescent Hill.
Before the Storm
Just four miles east of Louisville's downtown area, you will find Crescent Hill. One of the first things people notice about Crescent Hill is the small hometown feel. Frankfort Avenue runs right through its heart with shops, bakeries and great places to eat. This road was actually the original pioneer road; the Louisville-Lexington Turnpike. Crescent Hill was officially annexed into Louisville in the late 1800's and was a thriving community where the prominent citizens of Louisville lived.
Crescent Hill has always had a great sense of community, the residencts have taken great pride in their town. Over the years, several neighborhood clubs have emerged to keep Crescent Hill a thriving community. These clubs have helped this small suburb overcome many obstacles brought to its doors by changing times and even by Mother Nature herself.
Crescent Hill faced several challenges in its history. The city opened its doors to its neighboring communities in 1937 when downtown Louisville was flooded. It survived the great suburban exodus of the 1950's. But it was the storm of 1974 that dealt the greatest blow as a tornado nearly destroyed the area.
April 3-4 of 1974 is known as the Super Tornado Outbreak. Tornadoes ripped through the South and Midwest killing 315 people, injuring more than 6000 and causing nearly 600 million dollars in damage. There were estimated to be 148 tornadoes that touched down across 13 states, 23 F4's and 6 F5 storms. In Kentucky, there were 26 tornadoes alone; one of those tore right through the heart of Louisville. It was even caught on film by WHAS 11 as it ravaged the area.
Rebuilding After the Storm
The storm of April 3, 1974 was a life changing event for the residents of Crescent Hill, but in true Kentucky form, they showed great resolve and rebuilt their town and made it better than ever. In October of 2009, Southern Living magazine honored Crescent Hill as one of the South's Comeback Neighborhoods in recognition of the community has done to rebuild and remake itself over the years. It shows how hard work and a strong sense of community helped to make Crescent Hill what it is today.
April 2011 will go down as a month that brought great devastation to many communities. So far, they are estimating there have been 164 tornadoes across 8 states with over 300 people who have lost their lives. Here in Louisville we are praying for all of those affected by these storms. We have been where you are, and hope that in the days to come, you find the strength to rebuild and come back stronger than before.