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How time flies, been 30 years since the tornadoes devastated NW PA. I was able to drive through Forest County about a week later when we were able to get back into the camps along German Hill Road. Took quite a few photos. I have talked to many individuals over the years and got first-hand accounts of their experiences when the storms hit. It puts a chill down your spine listening to them recall the day the storms hit and the following weeks of cleaning up. A good book to read that documents a lot of these people's experiences is Tornado Tales, that is available at the Tionesta Library.
 

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I always stop and read the tale of survival of the boy scout troop in parker dam state park in Clearfield county. Its absolutely amazing. Total devastation for miles and miles around and that ccc camp those boys were in probably saved them.
 

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The Tionesta library also has an interesting collection of VHS tapes of the tornado aftermath. It's crude, unedited amatuer footage done by locals but neat to watch.
 

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One of those tornadoes went through my hometown and a kid I know was buried under the rubble for a couple days.
Another one went very close to my camp through Kane. Road up to check things out and the Nat'l Guard had roads blocked off. Missed the camp and tore up some of my really good hunting spots, but also created sopme good spots in the end.
Hard to believe 30 years ago.
 

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My wife and I and our son were on our way to camp that night and we didn't know what was happening. Rt. 120 was closed near Keating so we back tracked up to Crossfork and then to Rt. 6 west to Port Allegany. Rt. 155 south was just opened up just north of our camp road when we arrived around midnight. One of the emergency workers told us about the tornado. The next morning we were heading to Niagra Falls and we couldn't believe the devastation!
The tornado path was about 1 mile through the woods from camp. That was really some night.
 

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Don't remember the year, but recall a twister that flattened a two story farmhouse over in Potter with two teenagers inside, some years ago.

Both survived, one wound up in the basement.

There was also one that came down thru Elimsport (south side of the mtn. below Williamsport) and later crossed Rt. 15, destroying a campground that we went past on the way to camp.
 

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I remember the night it happened. I was at Pirates game with as a member of my local Little League team. On the way home coming up Rt 8 toward Butler there were trees down everywhere. I remember sitting in Three Rivers Stadium that night watching the lightning off in the distance and had no clue what was really going on.

Growing up and living in an area close to the Central Electric HQ, I know a bunch of guys that were involved in rebuilding the electrical infrastructure in that area destroyed by these storms... with HPA's own BigRedNeck included as one of those guys.

Time sure does fly...incredible its been 30 years.
 

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You can still see the track of the tornado as it crosses many of the small trout streams in the region. I've seen this while fishing many of these streams.

There is a wide swath in which every tree was flattened. Now there is a lot of brush growing up among all that downed timber. Makes for interesting walking!
 

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In 1985 I worked for Lezzer Lumber in Butler . I made endless deliveries to the Mars and Evens City areas after the tornado tore through .The scenes of destruction and stories from victims is something I pray I will never see again . One house untouched and the next completely gone . Looks of hopelessness on peoples faces will always remain with you . The force and devastation was unbelievably sad .
 

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Me and 3 pals drove from Wash. County straight North up I-79 in September or so of that year to do some fishing in Erie. There were, I want to say 3 differents "paths" of where you could see the distinct lines the Tornadoes made as they crossed over I-79 West to East. I believe one of the hardest hit was a town called Albion ?

Found this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkpFdxfr8cg
 

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theaceman said:
I remember the night it happened. I was at Pirates game with as a member of my local Little League team. On the way home coming up Rt 8 toward Butler there were trees down everywhere. I remember sitting in Three Rivers Stadium that night watching the lightning off in the distance and had no clue what was really going on.

Growing up and living in an area close to the Central Electric HQ, I know a bunch of guys that were involved in rebuilding the electrical infrastructure in that area destroyed by these storms... with HPA's own BigRedNeck included as one of those guys.

Time sure does fly...incredible its been 30 years.
Ditto... time does fly. It is hard to believe it was that long ago.

My parents were at our cabin along Little Medix Run that day. They couldn't get out of there after it happened because of the trees that were down. My father tells stories about the screen doors flapping and the noise.

They were lucky. You go down the road a couple hundred yards and it was a mess...
 

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I don't remember much as I was only 3 but I remember storys from my dad as he and a couple buddies purchased our camp a week before the storms and the one that stayed on the ground the longest just missed our camp by about 5-600 yards and provided some great grouse hunting in the mid - late 90's when I started hunting at the age of 12. Aceman its funny you mention the pirate game cause my dad was at the very same game and remembers all the dark clouds and lightning in the distance.
 

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I was at camp near Leeper with my dad at the time of the tornados, we had high winds and a lot of lightning but didn't realize what was going on, no TV or phone at camp. The next day we wanted to go fishing at the Clairion River and as we were driving on Rt 38 through Cook Forest we came across a path made by a tornado the night before. It left a pretty nasty scar up through the forest at about half way between the river and the entrance to the fire tower, until this day there is plaque at that area it has really grown back in now but you can still see the path.
 

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Clearfield12 said:
I always stop and read the tale of survival of the boy scout troop in parker dam state park in Clearfield county. Its absolutely amazing. Total devastation for miles and miles around and that ccc camp those boys were in probably saved them.

I don't even know what to say about that Joe,a miracle.My son was up there in 2005 during a anniversary party for the scouts.What they told him about that day of the tornado was very interesting.
 

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My great Uncle, from Cochranton, Crawford County, died that evening from the tornado. He was trying to make sure his daughter and grand kids were safe on the family farm, and the tornado picked him and dropped him 1/2 mile away in a tree.
 

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Fleroo said:
Me and 3 pals drove from Wash. County straight North up I-79 in September or so of that year to do some fishing in Erie. There were, I want to say 3 differents "paths" of where you could see the distinct lines the Tornadoes made as they crossed over I-79 West to East. I believe one of the hardest hit was a town called Albion ?

Found this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkpFdxfr8cg
You're right. I live in Albion. It came through when I was a kid and I lived about 20 miles away. But when I bought my house 5 years ago I was told that my house was the last one left standing on the block. Found out why later, it's framed out of rough cut red oak. Talk about a brick outhouse. My neighbors who lived there at the time told me that the cracked plaster in my house was from that day, and that all it did was pull the siding and shingles off. I'm still trying to find a picture that shows what my house looked like. I thought that would be cool.

I think you'll always be able to tell exactly where the tornado went through. All the houses and businesses are newer than the surroundings and the trees along the streets are so much younger.
 
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