40th Anniversary Photo Flashback: Reliving the 1974 Super Tornado Outbreak

By , Meteorologist
April 5, 2014; 4:43 AM ET
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"When you aren't at the scene of the tornado, you don't know how serious of a situation it is until you get to the hospital and see the victims," Barbara Connolly said.

Connolly was working at the Kettering Memorial Hospital, near Dayton, Ohio, as a social worker intern when the 1974 Super Outbreak occurred. She assisted tornado victims, which flooded the normally-clear hospital hallways, the day after the twisters struck.

"Realizing how seriously hurt so many people were was overwhelming," she said.

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Reliving the 1974 Super Tornado Outbreak

April 3-4, 2014, marks the 40th anniversary of the horrific tornado outbreak, which claimed the lives of more than 300 people and injured more than 6,000 others.

One victim, a young girl whose parents were separated at another hospital after a tornado destroyed their home, remains imprinted in Connolly's memory.

"A tragedy like that sticks with you, you have to experience it firsthand to realize what an impact a tornado has on the families involved," Connolly said. "I admired their resilience to get back to their normal lives and rebuild their community."

A total of 148 tornadoes touched down from Alabama to Ohio over the course of the outbreak, leveling entire towns. One of the most notorious tornadoes tore through Xenia, Ohio.

Aerial view of tornado damage in northeastern Xenia, Ohio, captured in April 1974. (Photo/United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB via NWS)

Aerial view of tornado damage in northeastern Xenia, Ohio, captured in April 1974. (Photo/United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB via NWS)

This photo taken in April of 1974 in northeastern Xenia, Ohio, shows destruction to some buildings and nearby buildings that were untouched by the devastating twister. (Photo/United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB via NWS)

A wide aerial view in northeastern Xenia, Ohio, shows a totally leveled part of the town after the tornado tore through. (Photo/United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB via NWS)

Trees are stripped and buildings are leveled in this tornado damage photo from Wilberforce, Ohio, at Central State University in April of 1974. (Photo/United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB via NWS)

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