Evelyn Cruze : Tornado Oral History

Title

Evelyn Cruze : Tornado Oral History

Narrative

Submitted: May 29, 2005
Evelyn Cruze
Crescent City, Florida

I was living in Howland at the time. We had a garage sale that day After closing it for the day, we decided to go out to dinner. We were seated at Perkins on Elm Road when the power went out. My husband didn't want to wait, so we left and headed towards Youngstown. As we headed on SR46 towards Rt 82, it looked darker and darker. When we got to 82, we started heading east. We could see power was out all along the roads. When we got to Vienna, we got off and headed towards Liberty. A tree was blocking the road so we turned around and went back to 82 headed west. When we got to SR11, we headed south. We worked our way to Rt 46 in Mineral Ridge and got off to eat there. The wind was so strong; I could feel grit in my mouth just walking into the restaurant. While we were eating, we noticed National Guardsmen heading towards Niles. As soon as we got into the van, we turned on the radio and heard the news of the tornado.

We heard on the radio that the Sheriff was requesting all personnel to report. My spouse was a special deputy and left as soon as he dropped us off at home. He helped escort generators to the site of the plaza that had been hit at US422 and Niles Vienna Road.

Our son was to graduate from Howland High School and there was a damper for graduation with some of he classmates impacted by the tornado.

The next day, we boxed up clothes, shoes, handbags, etc. from our garage sale and took them to the Red Cross. We were still without power and would watch the news from the TV in our van. Our neighbor would bring his generator to us for our fridge. Then use it on his own fridge - going back and forth. We cooked on our charcoal grill.

There are several things that stand out in my mind about all of this. Someone on a radio call in said if the US could send a man to the moon, then the power should be back on. The radio personality was shocked and ended up hanging up on the person after explaining the towers were gone and it took time to fix these things. Another thing was when we visited a street off North Road. I picked up a woman who lived on that street and took her to meetings. The neighborhood was so devastated; I couldn't tell where she lived. But the biggest thing was how on the next day, people still showed up for the garage sale. Most were understanding that we had decided to donate to the Red Cross, but one jerk wanted to give us $20.00 for what we had left. I thought my spouse was going to smack him, but all he did was escort him off our property.

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