On April 3-4, 1974 148 tornadoes tore through 13 states, including Alabama and Tennessee. The tornadoes resulted in around 335 fatalities and approximately 600 million dollars in damage. This outbreak of tornadoes is the second largest on record, and the aftermath placed a priority on weather information and communication.

In Alabama there were a total of 10 tornadoes. There were 3 F5’s, 1 F4, 2 F3’s, 3 F2’s, and 1 F1 tornadoes. There were two F5 tornadoes that hit southeastern portions of Limestone County and southwestern portions of Madison County. The Tanner, Athens, Harvest, Toney, and Hazel Green communities were hit the hardest by these tornadoes.

One of the F5 tornadoes continued on a path into Lincoln and Franklin counties in Tennessee. The Flintville and Vanntown communities were hit the hardest with some of these areas being hit twice.

The aftermath of the event brought attention to the need for public education and awareness of severe weather. It also paved the way for developments in weather observations, Doppler Radar and GOES Satellite.