IN THEIR OWN WORDS
Everyone was safe
MEMORIES OF THE 1974 TORNADOES
Thursday, April 03, 2014 11:00 AM
I was in the 8th grade at MCJHS. We lived just a few blocks from there on Allen Street. My story has several memorable events rolled into that one event.
My mom, Edith Lichlyter Cole, asked me to go to Angers Grocery to get some drinks and I did not want to go.
After that day my Mom always commented on how that was the first time I had ever not done something for her.
The store was leveled by the storm.
When it started to hail, my mom asked me to go outside to gather some of the huge hail so we could put it in the freezer to show my stepdad, Wendell Cole, who was at work at IKE.
While out in the backyard, I saw people pointing up at the sky. I saw the tornadoes as they came up over the state hospital. I ran inside to tell my mom who did not believe me at first. She finally agreed to get my sisters, Jennifer Ison and Gretchen Pyles, and come outside. The windows were blown into the bedroom where my sisters where at that time.
We climbed into a culvert under the street. The water was waist high and my youngest sister, Gretchen, was hysterical because she did not want to get her new shoes wet.
My mom was hysterical because she did not know where my brothers, Steve and Todd Lichlyter, were as they had not made it home from school. Thankfully, they were playing basketball at MCHS and were taken into the basement for shelter.
I remember seeing a shed fly past the end of the culvert but do not remember hearing any noise.
When we emerged from the culvert, the roof was gone off our home and many of our neighbors homes were destroyed. My dad, Floyd Lichlyter, arrived just after we got into the culvert and was inside the house during the storm trying to find us. We all piled into his vehicle and went to check on my grandparents. Everyone was safe!