NEWTON FALLS, Ohio (WKBN) — There’s now a permanent reminder of how a local community overcame the destruction and weathered the storm.
The end of the month will mark 37 years since a tornado devastated Newton Falls. Now, there’s a new symbol in town paying tribute to the city’s resilience.
Looking at downtown Newton Falls present day, if you weren’t around on May 31, 1985, you wouldn’t know just how far the city has come.
It was that day around 6:30 p.m. a tornado destroyed much of downtown. Luckily no one was killed or hurt.
City Manager Pamela Priddy remembers where she was when the storm hit.
“My sister-in-law was in that IGA store when the tornado hit. The sirens went off very quickly and we went outside to see what was going on and saw the trees from the river just bending over and ran back into the store,” said Priddy.
But now there’s a permanent reminder of what happened in the area known as Four Corners — a monument dedicated to the community that survived the storm.
“The kids nowadays don’t even remember that there was a tornado that went through this area,” said Priddy.
“We felt like a donation to the city of this monument would really be a great way to just show our residents how strong we can be together,” said Newton Falls Commerce Association President, Katie NcClain.
The marker was donated to the city by the Newton Falls Area Commerce Association. It was installed just last week but has been in the works for more than a year.
Mayor Kenneth Kline was in high school when the tornado hit.
“I look back now and what I get out of it is — storms, in life, no matter how devastating they are — they’re temporary but unity and communities like Newton Falls are forever,” said Kline.