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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been 33 years since the devastating tornado's went through Forest County. How time flies, I remember driving through a week later. Have talked to numerous individuals over the years that lived through that night. A good book to read is called Tornado Tales and is available for purchase at the Tionesta Library.
 

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I remember my grandma out saving her hanging platers off of the porch while the pine trees in the yard were topped by the winds..... Crazy
 

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Me and 4 pards drove up to Erie to go Salmon fishing that October. That's when PA still stocked Salmon and they'd run in the tribs. You can see the wide, wide, swath paths that those tornadoes took across I-79, up around Albion, Edinboro, etc...
 

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One wiped out Parker Dam and S.B. Elliot state parks the same day I believe.The devistation was unreal but the awesome hunting that followed was just as unreal.
 

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Wonder if they ever caught the people who stole that big sign on German Hill rd.
 

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The devistation was unreal but the awesome hunting that followed was just as unreal.

Uh huh.

Used to go to a camp in McKean County handy East Branch Dam. The tornado went right by there. The snowshoe hunting was fantastic !! Well...………….the snowshoe POPULATION was fantastic. Problem was getting the boogers rousted out from UNDER all that mess ……...
 

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The camp I frequented was off German Hill Rd. It was a 12x 50 mobile home and was rolled over on a side by the tornado. As it was rolling it leaned against the power pole and as it came out of the ground the camp was laid down and not slammed down. Two camps over from us was gone, I mean literally gone. We went up following week and had to get a permit or something at the court house in Tionesta and then through National guard roadblocks to get to camp. Luckily a crane truck was borrowed the next week and we rolled it upright and reblocked. Used that camp for another 20+ years until it was sold.
The next spring I tried to fish Salmon creek outside Kelletville. It was just a twisted mess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The 34th Anniversary of the tornado, it happened on a Friday around 5PM, if this would of happened on Memorial day weekend when the camps were full, could of been much worse. I remember on top of German Hill road, before you drop down over to Ross Run, the hillsides had all the trees ripped off about 10 feet high. A camper beside me was heading up for the weekend and they got caught in the tornado at the Fish Hatchery on rt 62. It ripped the door off their truck and the young girl was eating jelly beans. They said the jelly beans were flying around inside the truck and hitting them. They had black and blue marks all over from being hit.
 

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It did quite a number on the Tionesta Scenic Area, a virgin timber area in the ANF. What always amazed me was the abrupt edges of the path, where a huge tree would be picked up by the roots and 10 feet away would be a 1 inch sapling that was left untouched. Lots of damage in Kane, 4 people were killed.
 

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The hillside on 36 North of Tionesta toward Neiltown has really grown up over the last few years.
 

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I remember it well. I used to backpack in the Hickory Creek Wilderness Area often that year. I'd hike in from forest road 119 on the old railroad trace. I'd camp near the forks of Jacks Run and Middle Branch of Hickory Creek and fish. I was there a week before the tornado and planned to go the week of but cancelled because of a schedule change at work otherwise I'd have been there when the tornado hit. When I did return, a few weeks after, there was a huge hemlock tree down across where I would pitch my tent! Had I gone that week I'd still be there! I'm usually in the wrong place at the wrong time but someone was looking out for me.
 

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Same twister, or at least part of that same series, also progressed eastward and struck Elimsport, on the south side of the mountain ridges below Williamsport. Remember heading up Rt. 15 and seeing where the twisther cut a swath thru there.

It destroyed a campground next to Rt. 15, Hidden Creek or something like that? Took years to finally restore it.

Back around that same time frame, one of my longtime huntin'' buddies had moved out to WI to work at UW Madison. He bought a house NW of Madison, at the southern edge of the biggest stretch of forest in that area. I was out there the year they'd moved. House had a concrete wall/ceiling storm "cellar" in the basement.

The tornadoes that came across WI that summer, had destroyed a town to the west of him, Barneyveld, IIRC? Only thing left sanding was the town's water tower.

Some months later, my bud and his closest neighbor, a dairy farmer, were deep into those woods doing some scouting and discovered it had touched down near them and cut a long swath thru those woods. They decided not to tell their wives about that. Looking at a map, with Barneyveld to the west and where the twister had touched down again causing damage to the east, thei woods were nearly in a straight line between those two areas.
 

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back in 1985 i was headed to the State Correctional Institute at Camphill for training. i pulled over near Corry at the small village of Beaverdam because of the rain and hail. i couldnt see ten feet in front of me. when that cleared i continued on my way and went thru Kane where i had to pull over again because of the torrential down pour making travel impossible.


then i cut across 218 and eventually made my way down state to Camphill. i was watching the news in the hotel when i learned about the Tornadoes. they showed a map of where they were. they were in Beaverdam, Kane and somewhere along 218. it looked like they were chasing me across the state.


had i looked in my rear view mirror i might have driven faster. when i saw the damage on my way home i got tingles up and down my spine. the tornado in beaverdam was just about 200 yards from where i pulled over and the one in Kane went down the hill side across the road i drove on.
 

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The tornados continued east and cut swaths through the southern block of Sproul State Forest, south of Renovo.

While brook trout fishing in that area, I've seen the swaths. They come over a hillslope, cross the stream, then up the other side. They continued for a long way, crossing several streams.

As someone described, within the swath every tree was flattened. But right next to the swath, the trees appeared untouched.

When exploring the streams in that area, I had some clothing and skin ripping experiences trying to get through the blowdown areas, with brush and briars growing up among all the downed trees.
 

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I've hunted some of the blowdown areas. Great grouse hunting 10 years ago.
Some where I saw a map of the paths the different toradoes took. Anyone know where to find this?
 
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