The following video links originate from a Trumbull
County Historical Society Video Contest entry by Kristen Davis
and Jason Viers. They were students in Niles McKinley High
School Visual Communications class taught by Ralph Tolbert.
Kristen and Jason's video won first place.
1: Russ Samuel interview.
2: Dick Richards interview.
3: Linda Bennett interview.
4: Zoa Lykins interview.
5: Nancy Stauffer interview.
6: Fire Chief Semple interview
On May 31, 1985, the City of Niles
was struck by an F5 tornado that had its origins just West of Newton
Falls, where it destroyed much of that town. It then moved through
Lordstown and Warren, before wreaking havoc on Niles, where it toppled
a skating rink and shopping mall, leveled dozens of houses, ripped
through the Union Cemetery, injured many people, and took several
lives. The tornado continued on, never leaving the ground until
it reached Pennsylvania.
In just the
Niles area alone, 9 were killed, and 250 were injured. Nearly 70
homes were leveled and another 65 to 70 severely damaged. In the
Mahoning and Shenango Valleys a total of 25 died and 500 people
were injured, and there was $140 million in property damage. Coincidentally,
the tornado of 1985 took a similar path(see maps below) through
Niles as another tornado that hit in 1947. Text: http://www.thecityofniles.com
The images below show the destruction
of property the tornado inflicted on various parts of Niles: Woodglen
Avenue off North Road, Nancy Street, Niles Union Cemetary, Shadowridge,
Route 422. Click on image to view larger size.
Path of 1985 tornado.
Path of 1947 tornado