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Mount Clemens, New Baltimore, MI Tornado, May 1964


Mount Clemens, Mich. (AP) -- Eleven persons were killed and more than 100 injured late Friday when a tornado that roared like a giant vacuum cleaner swept across southeastern Michigan.
Gov. GEORGE W. ROMNEY immediately left the Republican State Convention at Grand Rapids on the other side of the state to go to the disaster area.
Macomb County Sheriff LESTER A. ALMSTADT, who gave the death toll, said the twister smashed area was about two miles long and three-quarters of a mile wide.
"There is very heavy destruction," he added.
ALMSTADT said the search for bodies had been discontinued until Satruday morning.
The tornado appeared to have hit with the most force in Chesterfield Township, a residential area that lies between the southeastern Michigan cities of Mount Clemens and New Baltimore. All the dead were believed to have lived in the township.
ALMSTADT said the devastated area looked from the air as if a giant had stamped on it again and again.
Macomb County's civil defense director, CLEM W. SKIBA, said, "for a rough guess there are at least 200 homes that were pretty thoroughly demolished," SKIBA estimated at least 300 other homes were damaged but not destroyed.
SKIBA said he saw the tornado as it swept down on the area. He said "it bounced around, up and down, moving west to east."
Gov. ROMNEY left Grand Rapids by plane with three of his aides for Selfridge Air Force Base near Mount Clemens.
The base is just off Lake St. Clair, north of here. A housing area on the edge of the base suffered heavy damage. The base is about 20 miles from populous Detroit which was not hit by the twister although the metropolitan area was swept by fierce rain and winds.
Only two of the dead were identified immediately. They were MRS. BARBARA FORTON, 29, and SUSAN WESTFALL, 7, both of Chesterfield Township.
MRS. FORTON was identified by her husband, WAYNE, 33, who said the twister demolished his home and injured four small children, though none seriously.
FORTON, a truck driver, was not at home when the tornado struck.
"I was driving home," he said. "Then I saw the destruction. I ran to my house and it wasn't there anymore.

Mount Clemens (AP) -- Here is a list of identified dead in the tornado which struck southeastern Michigan Friday night:
Her daughter, LOUISE, 8 years old.
Her son, DAVID, 4 months old.
Her daughter, TINA MARIA, 20 months old.
MRS. DONNA MAE SOLOC, 24, of New Baltimore.
Her daughter, WENDY LOU, 6 months old.
SUSAN WESTFALL, 7, of New Baltimore.
MRS. BARBARA FORTON, 28, of New Baltimore

Daily Cpaital News Jefferson City Missouri 1964-05-09


can't see the pictures on picasa...need help

is there some way to get on picasa to see the pictures you posted??

Before the tornado we used

Before the tornado we used to play at your house. At least Susie and me or sometimes you, Lori, Brad and Steve would play at our house.

1064 tormado

I was In the same room with you at St. Joseph's. I had a broken leg and surgery on my head (no hair). Just talked to a man that is putting together a memorial for this coming May since its been 50 years in 2014. Hope life has been good to you.

Anchor Bay tornado (damage) photos

I would like to see those photos, including the actual tornado if you have it. I'm the one that attended St. Leonard School in Warren listed on the previous page. This happened on my Confirmation Day. Do you have a map showing the actual touchdown - damage path? Was Gratiot hit in any way? Thank you!

New email addy is:

New email addy is:

Attn: Sabrina Riggs-Brackett

Thanks for responding, Sabrina. I didn't see your response until now (July 2013). Please send me your email address. Mine is: Thanks.

1964 Tornado Photos

I have many photos of the Chesterfield-New Baltimore tornado of 1964 including some aerial shots. I would like to share them but would rather email them as I haven't figured out how to put them on this site, if that is possible. So if I get some email addresses I'll be more than happy to send them.

Mt. Clemens tornado

The recent Oklahoma tornado brought this memory back to me in full force. I was in the first grade and lived in the Selfridge AFB Capehart housing. While walking home from school I remember the air was heavy and the sky went from dark to a weird green color, I guess the afternoon light coming through the heavy overcast. I was dropped off at a birthday party. During the party, we noticed out the window that the trees were sideways then heard the roar, like a train but deafening. Can you imagine, the poor woman with a house full of first graders? She got us in a hallway with all doors closed. It was so loud and the air and house was shaking. It seemed to go on forever then just stopped. We were OK but the houses on the next street we could see out the window had lost their roofs, and the next street over some houses were destroyed. My father came to get me on his motor scooter and we rode all around looking at the aftermath. Just unbelievable. There was a giant tree on Sugarbush Rd. pulled out by its roots. There was a big open field filled with cars, like the storm had dropped all similar things in the same place. I saw a house that was gone, but a fireplace mantle still standing in place, with things on it. I remember hearing of a baby pulled out of a window and found in a boat. I didn't know the totality of the destruction, being as young as I was, but will never forget what I heard and saw that day.


I also lived at the corner of 21 and Jefferson. 46606 Summertime to be exact. We should converse... Ron

My grandparents had a farm

My grandparents had a farm that went from Sugarbush to 23 Mile road. We walked to their house all of time. There are only 2 crossroads. The one you are looking for is Cotton Road. Cotton Road is just past the military housing. Dean A Naldrett School was across from the housing project. The property had to be to the right or left of the school. All the other roads don't cross.

My mom used to take us over to Donna's house because we delivered water. We had an Artesian well on our property and delivered water to all of the locals. We were on the corner of Callens and Hooker. We took refuge in my neighbor's house, Mrs. Fuller, because we didn't have a basement.

article | by Dr. Radut