Kevin Carlini : Tornado Oral History


Kevin Carlini : Tornado Oral History


Submitted: May 30, 2006
Kevin Carlini
Pleasant Gap, Pennsylvania

At the time I was 14 years old and living with my family in Youngstown, Ohio. That evening, my mother, older brother and sister had gone to Boardman to do some shopping at The Southern Park Mall. I can remember being inside of Spencer's and hearing the weather warnings on the radio....Severe Thunderstorm watches and warnings. Later, after shopping at the old Bargain Port on South Avenue, we came back to our car and witnessed an ominous looking sky. The top half was completely black and the bottom was white. Perfect conditions for funnel clouds to drop down. Nothing happened thank God. Later that evening I can remember watching the usual line-up of Friday night television shows, only to be interrupted by those scary "TORNADO WATCH" and “TORNADO WARNING" screens that would just pop up without warning, along with the loud buzzing siren. My heart would almost leap out of my throat when that happened. I can remember Stan Boney and I believe Rich Morgan coming onscreen to talk about and discuss what was going on throughout the night. Mostly it was just the warning screens. Tornadoes spotted in Niles, Lordstown, Wheatland/Weatherfield, Columbiana County, etc. They were everywhere. I was almost afraid to go to sleep that night but my Mom convinced me around 11:00 or so that everything had passed through other counties. The next day was a bright, sunny and beautiful day. Channel 27 showed live footage all day of the clean-up in Trumbull County. Finally, I will never forget the huge black-type headline from the Youngstown Vindicator: "Killer Tornadoes Rip Through Valley", or something close to that. The headline filled almost the entire front page. An awful day in the history of the Valley, but many improvements in weather warnings were made soon after. Now, the warnings come quite sooner, and all are taken quite seriously.

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