Davis: Tornado Oral History


Davis: Tornado Oral History


Submitted: March 12, 2007
Niles, Ohio

I was about three years old at the time, living in Newton Falls. I remember that it was a HOT day. I was sitting on the front porch with my uncle, playing with a paper plate. All of a sudden, huge balls of "ice" (I didn't know it was called hail at the time) started falling from the sky. My mother and father were playing volleyball in our yard, and they were getting pounded by the hail. At the same time we began to hear some very loud noise. My parents weren't concerned because there was construction going on nearby. Then our phone rang and my mother ran into the house to answer it. No one was on the line. She began to walk away and it rang again, she answered, and no one was on the line. This happened several times, we still don't know why. The rest of us joined her in the house because the weather was getting so bad. A few minutes later my aunt came blasting down the road in her car. She was screaming, "Are you all okay?" We didn't know what she was talking about. She then told us that the tornado had just passed through. We went outside and looked at the woods next to our house, and the tops of all of the trees were missing. We had no idea, because we thought that all of the noise was from the construction. After that we had to walk to town for anything we needed for weeks. We were also fed by the Red Cross. Rumor has it that there is a newspaper photograph of me standing with a woman from the Red Cross just two days after the tornado.

My father was a police officer, so he had to do search and rescue. He went to an old woman's house and came home with a bone chilling story. The old woman was close to 90. She fell asleep in her rocking chair with her cat in her lap. Her entire house collpased around her, and many large pieces of the home were missing. When my father found her she was still sitting in the chair with the cat, unscathed. She was in shock, but she was blessed. It was the only part of the house that made it through the tornado. If she had been anywhere else in her home she would not have survived.

God Bless all of the souls lost in the 1985 Tornado. Anyone living in Newton Falls, where the tornado was an F5, should consider themselves blessed by God. There were no fatalities in our city.

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