York Man Remembers Surviving Tornado 50 Years Later


YORK, Neb. -- May 5, 1964, a tornado ripped across 70 miles of Nebraska land. Bill Troutman was 23-years-old at the time, he was inside his house that afternoon. And his house took a direct hit from that tornado.

It was a happy start for Bill Troutman. He saw the birth of his second son that morning.

"I had been up all night, my wife had her second boy that day. About 4 o'clock in the morning."

After a long day's work, Troutman wasted no time getting home, skipping the gas station and the diner, he wanted to see his son again. But when he got home he saw something else.

"It didn't really dawn on me that it was a tornado. It didn't look like a tornado because it was a quarter mile wide. I didn't think nothing about it."

That tornado that was later given an F-5 rating, the highest possible.

"I went into the bathroom and then... Boom. That was it. The last thing I remember from then on."

The tornado threw Troutman 100 yards from his home and a neighbor found him lying in a field. He woke up a month later from a medical coma with a fractured skull and a broken hip.

Troutman expressed his thankfulness that his son was born that day, two months premature. Because of that his wife along with their newborn son were in the next town over, away from the tornado.

Troutman recalls, "He was just lucky he was born that morning."


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