You would think I would not remember the Tornado of 1985 considering I was only 3 at the time, but I do. I remember the dark sky, the wind so strong it blew my favorite play patio table into the field. I remember my mother yelling at me to get back into the house and into the basement when I followed her out when she went to secure the barn door. I remember my father and I laying in the basement on the hammock waiting for the storm to be over. Every year during tornado season those images come flooding back to me. The tornado of 1985 was a deadly F5. The damage and loss of life scarred our community.
Today a reminder of that tragic event presented itself as tornado season in Ohio started with a bang. At 8:18 my mother called me to tell me to get the children into the basement. Sirens in neighboring cities began to blare. I sent the kids to the basement and went to assess the situation. Everyone was outside battening down the hatches. I looked into the distance and the cloud approaching was black as pitch. I began to take this more seriously as I looked around at the birds that had taken flight, many of them stopped mid air and just hovered. No chirping that sounded carefree, rather they were giving urgent signals as they fled to safety. The air was moving, but somehow everything was hot and still at the same time.
I went back inside and turned off lights and close natural gas valves around the house. Then I gathered my computer ( my lifeline to the weather reports), my phone, and my cat before I joined my children in the basement. In my basement there is a bathroom outlined in cinder block and it has no windows near it. The safest room in the house to be. I had the kids in the shower with blankets and pillows covering them and their scared little bodies ready to cover their heads if the time came.
The warning lasted until 8:45 and I went up to check things out. I was greeted with the sight of my neighbors all in their front yards staring down the road towards the park. I looked and was confronted with the funnel cloud off in the distance. It was moving slowly passing by my city on its way to Youngstown, Ohio. I snapped a photo then went back to the basement just in case it switched its route. When the danger passed I went back upstairs and watched it as it ventured over Youngstown. The lightning from the storm was blood red and so beautiful.
The storm is still around us, and we have warnings for severe weather until 2am, but at least the tornado is long gone. And so Trumbull County, Ohio has seen its first significant funnel cloud of the season.
(The video accompanying this article was shot by me using my android. I had just got done running from down the road to find out if the neighbors knew about any more warnings issued because I don't have cable. I may sound breath