Deb Murphy : Tornado Oral History


Deb Murphy : Tornado Oral History


Submitted: May 29, 2005
Deb Murphy
Warren, Ohio

I was shopping at the Commodore 64 store that day in the Great East Plaza, Niles, Ohio. (Yes, the Great East Plaza had a store that was dedicated to the Commie.) After leaving the store, I noticed a LOT of car horns blowing -- continously, not beeping. It was one solid blow.

I looked over to where Tops is now and saw the tornado in the horizon.

It was huge and filled the sky. It was two shades of black and barrel shaped -- not pointed like some tornados I have seen photos of. The outer shade was rotating up along side of the tornado then coming back down. After looking at it for a while I realised that outer shade was large pieces of people's houses that had been blown apart.

The tornado moved very slowly across the horizon towards what was that roller skating rink.

Though I am a photographer, I did not have a camera with me that day.

I went through the parking lot telling folks to just leave. I remember one lady who frozen when I showed her what was behind her. I swore at her to get her and her child out of that parking lot. She moved then.

After it was all over, I left and went home.

For a few weeks afterwards, I had troubles sleeping -- I could see that tornado every time I closed my eyes.

I've never seen anything similar. It was huge. The closest thing to making that kind of impression on me was the Panama Canal when I saw it last year.

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