A Terrifying, Deadly Storm Struck Pennsylvania In 1985… And No One Saw It Coming
Due to its mountainous terrain, Pennsylvania is not exactly known for its tornadoes. The occasional funnel cloud does ravage our land, though this is a rare occurrence. On May 31, 1985, many Pennsylvania residents faced injury, property damage, and even death due to a huge tornado outbreak, the largest and most intense tornado outbreak ever to hit this area of the country.
As you can see from this GOES satellite image, the storm covered much of the region and was concentrated mainly over Pennsylvania. You can barely even make out our state boundaries in this image. The only recorded F5 tornado in Pennsylvania razed Mercer county and claimed nine lives.
In total, 65 Pennsylvanians lost their lives to tornados that day. This map from Environment Canada shows the tornado tracks; as you can see, most of them were in PA, although some caused destruction in Ohio and Canada, as well.
Above is a trucking plant in Wheatland that was destroyed in the outbreak. Among other damages, the entire town of Albion was leveled, 309 buildings were destroyed, and an F4 tornado travelled for 45 miles in Erie County.
Check out the video below to watch a video that a PA resident captured of the destruction on this day.
How sad to know that on that day, nearly 31 years ago, so many Pennsylvanians lost their lives due to this tragic tornado outbreak. Do you remember when this happened?
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