Jon Long : Tornado Oral History

Title

Jon Long : Tornado Oral History

Narrative

Submitted: May 29, 2005
Jon Long
Meadville, Pennsylvania
My friend and business partner, Kip Button and I were sitting in our shop in Girard, Ohio. Located across from the city building. We had a radio shop and were listening to police scanners in the shop. when we heard something about a touchdown in gustavis. We went outside and noticed the sky to the north was very dark . The sky above us and to the south was sunny and clear. We kept hearing reports of tornados to our north so being the adventures sort we were , and Kip also being a photographer we decided to close the shop and head north to shoot some film. We made it as far as McKinley Hts. The sky by now was very cloudy. We were stopped by Girard patrolman John Villeco at 422 and Robbins ave. he was directing traffic as the power was out in that area. when it was our turn to go we continued west on 422 toward Warren. We made it just about to the roller rink when we were stopped again. this time by trees and debris blocking 422 it was totally blocked and all the buildings were leveled ! Kip jumped out of the car and ran into the rubble looking for suvivors..I stayed at the car and turned away other vehicles and lookers . Kip radioed back to me about finding bodies that looked like old rag dolls rolled in the mud. It was at least a half hour until the first emergengy vehicles showed up..The whole time we did not take a single picture , caught up by shock and disbelif of the intensity of the devistation. I think today that Patrolman John Villeco saved our lives . If he had not been where he was, directing traffic we would have been there when the twister came through ! I never got a chance to Thank him or tell him but If he reads this , Thanks John !

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