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Albion Tornado Survivors Relate To Oklahoma Victims

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Harold Hayes Harold Hayes
Harold Hayes joined KDKA-TV in August of 1979 as a general assignment...
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ALBION (KDKA) — Nearly 30 years ago, the people of Albion, Pa. dedicated a memorial to the twelve lives lost on May 31, 1985.

And they can relate to the images they’re seeing on television from Oklahoma this week.

The cry of an Albion resident who summed it all up after seeing the destruction of one hundred homes in a town of 1,500 people.

At first glance, there aren’t many outward remnants of the destruction but it took years to return to this.

On this Election Day, mayoral candidate Jason White recalled that he was 14 when Albion changed forever.

“We saw the debris flying through the air and tried to come over the check on my grandmother my grandfather and some other family members and just to look around and see the devastation was horrible and it was heart wrenching,” White said. “You know especially in a town that you’ve grown up in or around, you grow to love the place and the way it looks and everything changes in a matter of moments.”

“How long did it take this area to rebuild physically and rebuild emotionally?” KDKA’s Harold Hayes asked.

“Oh years, years,” said former teacher Janet West. “And it will take them years. But there’s hope.

And the former superintendent recalls what happened when the schools had a tornado drill a year after the storm.

“And all at once these kids are coming out the classroom to practice the tornado drill crying, upset,” said former Superintendent Lynn Corder. “I mean just visibly upset cause they were remembering what had happened and even though they were told it was a drill, it didn’t matter and I thought boy, that really told me a lot.”

The memorial ends with this quote: “No one is so rich that he doesn’t need another’s help. No one is so poor as not to be useful in some way to his fellow man.”

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