May 31, 1985 Memorial
This site is dedicated to all who lost their lives from the May 31, 1985 tornadoes that devastated Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Canada. This site will also serve as a memorial to all of the survivors of that day.
I have attempted to collect as many photos and video of the tornado that went through Newton Falls, Lordstown, Niles and Hubbard, Ohio and Wheatland, Pennsylvania. If you have any photos or video that you want posted on this web site, or know the exact locations of any the "unknown" photos, please e-mail me at email@example.com. I am also interested pictures/video of the damage from other tornadoes that formed during the May 31, 1985 outbreak.
Thanks to all who have contacted me with information and providing photos and/or video.
The first video is of the tornado as it passed through Lordstown, Ohio and Hermitage, Pennsylvania. The Hermitage, PA video was provided by Ken from Hubbard, Ohio. The Lordstown video was filmed by Jerry Drey when he was at the Lordstown High School for his daughter's dance recital. The Hermitage video was recorded by Ron Alfredo from Texas who was visiting relatives near Hermitage, PA at the time. The second video is the raw video from Ron Alfredo without any sound.
You will need Windows Media Player to view the video files on this site.
Video of the Damage in Newton Falls, Ohio
This is video of the tornado damage one week after it went through the city. Former Councilman Ron McIntosh filmed and narrated the first 3 videos that are each approximately 10 minutes long. The 4th video was narrated by former Mayor Bob Irwin and includes several flyovers of the city, this video is approximately 17.5 minutes long. The first video is choppy at the beginning but plays correctly after the first minute, other spots are dark, but the video is in really good condition for being 20+ years old and recorded originally on VHS tape.
Photos of the tornado as it passed through Lordstown, Ohio north of Lydia Drive.
Photos of the same F5 tornado as it passed near the Village Center Plaza in Niles, Ohio (near the intersection of US 422 & SR 46). Photos taken and provided by Mike Zahurak. He was running a carnival in the parking lot and only had 4 pictures remaining in his camera when the tornado struck.
If you have any photos or video that you want posted on this web site, or know the exact locations of any the "unknown" photos, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|ODOT & Other Photos||Newspaper Photos from the Tribune Chronicle and the Vindicator||Other Information|
Interactive Google Maps showing approximate Photo Locations and Tornado Track
Original color enhanced ODOT map of the track of the F5 tornado as it went through
Newton Falls, Lordstown, Niles and Hubbard, Ohio
May 31, 1985 Tornado Track through Trumbull County, Ohio
June 7, 1947 Tornado Track - (from Girard44420.org)
This June 7, 1947 tornado followed an almost identical track through Trumbull County as the May 31, 1985 tornado. Three people were killed in Trumbull County near former SR 90 (now SR 193). Two people were killed in Sharon, PA.
Other Sources of Information
Other websites about the tornado outbreak of May 31, 1985:
Niles Historical Society - Trumbull County Historical Society video interviews of people involved with the disaster in Niles, Ohio
Hubbard Public Library Tornado Memories - Share your story or read other stories from survivors of this tornado.
The day the twisters came - Pittsburgh Post Gazette Article on the 20th Anniversary of the Outbreak by Mackenzie Carpenter
National Weather Service - Cleveland, Ohio Office information on the May 31, 1985 Outbreak
Memorable Tornado Outbreak of May 31, 1985 - Greg Drollinger
May 31, 1985 Tornado Outbreak in Pennsylvania - Jeff Kitsko
May 31, 1985 Northeastern Tornadoes - Ohio History.org
Maps and Statistics of the May 31, 1985 Tornado Outbreak - Paul Dornsife
Meteorological Data - Maps of that day - surface map and upper airflow map (500 mb) courtesy of WeatherGraphics.com
Non-ODOT Photos provided by:
Mike Zahurak - Niles tornado photos from the Village Center Plaza parking lot - thanks again for allowing me to scan and post your photos.
Mark VanKirk at 44444.com . Thanks again Mark and Erik.
Brian at StarTrek.com, thanks Brian.
Wheatland, PA Monument photo, Coalburg and Wheatland Photos by Ken from Hubbard.
Niles, OH - Additional Susan Court and Nancy Street Photos courtesy of Jeff from Niles.
Linesville, PA - Bob Wenzelburger
Books on the Outbreak:
A book called Tornado Watch #211 documents the May 31, 1985 tornado outbreak.
The History of the Ravenna Arsenal book by Ralph Pfingsten references this website and provides a very thorough and detailed history of the Ravenna Arsenal. It includes hundreds of pictures, diagrams, lists and reprinted documents pertaining to the Arsenal from its beginning to its present state of operations.
WKBN Channel 27 from Youngstown, Ohio produced a documentary called "Tornado '85: A Trail of Tragedy." This one hour documentary summarizes the damage caused by the tornadoes of May 31, 1985 in northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania. DVD copies of this documentary can be purchased from Channel 27 for $40.00 each, by calling 330-782-1144 during normal business hours. VHS copies are no longer available.
Similar video of the tornado footage near Hermitage can be obtained by clicking here. Video courtesy of Ken from Hubbard. Thanks again.
Site revised 28 May 2011
Visitors since 13 March 2005