Back to the Mountain Memories Main Page
.Page 100 - 101
Back to the Oconto
County Home Page
28, 1971 Entered by Rusty's son - Jan Olson
It was warm and hazy, the maples were a brilliant red and orange, the stately white birch were still full of yellow leaves. The famous fall color was at its zenith.
After supper, Grandpa Axel retired to the living room to watch the news and weather forecast. We never got the weather report, and there was no warning. The power went out at 6:12 p.m., and with the suddenness of Judgement Day, the sky got dark and the wind began to blow. Through every window we could see the violence of the wind in the blowing dirt and objects. There was no time to hide. Big trees were toppling over all at once, and in different directions. The air pressure felt as if the house might explode. It was terrifying for my grandparents and I. And then the wind stopped. It rained big drops, but briefly.
I ran outside to find a big box elder had fallen onto the garage, and a wind row of ten-year-old scotch pine were tipped over like dominoes. In every direction I looked there were trees down / the big balsam near the back door had lost its top. In the growing darkness of the early evening storm, we could not access the damage. Suddenly I realized that the house next door had lost its roof, the shed and garage had vanished! I ran across the street and was relieved to find Ruth Klensch was unhurt. Down the road I found Clarence and Helen Way in each other's arms standing beside the platform and rubble of their mobil home. The seven unoccupied mobile homes, that had minutes before stood behind Al Loftus's DX Station, had been carried off and ripped apart leaving a trail of destruction. Al's Station was but a shell of cement blocks.
The home of the Melvin Trever family was totally destroyed. Amazingly there were only a few minor injuries. Next door to them, the County Shed was down. On the west side of town the hillside looked like a jungle, the damage to the trees was extensive, while the cedar swamp on the east side received the tornadoes final farewell. The shallow root systems of the cedar stand today, their timbers laid down 18 years ago as a reminder of the day the tornadoes came through Mountain.