Tour commemorates anniversary of deadly Waco tornado

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) May 11th, 1953 what would be one of the most unforgettable days in Waco history.

Later to be determined as an F-5 tornado, ripped through the city taking 114 lives and leaving another 600 hundred injured.

"For many years that is what people thought of when they heard the name Waco," says Baylor professor and Historian Eric Ames who's been leading a Waco Walks tour for the past three years.

Each May 11th Ames finds more people who are interested in the history of the tornado.

"I wanted to know more about the tornado because I wasn't born at that time," says Sandra Jimenez who grew up in Waco.

The tour shows landmarks around downtown that were affected by the storm.

Buildings such as the Dr Pepper Museum, which still shows scars in the form of different colored bricks.

Ames says the tragedy left behind was great, but that important changes were able to come from the devastation.

"I think the biggest change would be the fact that we have these early warning systems," says Ames.
"Waco had to learn a hard lesson to make that better for everyone... that opportunity to communicate and learn from the storm is huge."

The powerful tornado struck the heart of downtown at 4:37 p.m. on May 11, 1953,though estimates vary, approximately $51 million of property damages occurred.