Mount Clemens, New Baltimore, MI Tornado, May 1964
TORNADO SWEEPS ACROSS MICHIGAN KILLING 11 PEOPLE.
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.
LIST OF VICTIMS.
Mount Clemens (AP) -- Here is a list of identified dead in the tornado which struck southeastern Michigan Friday night:
MRS. CLARENCE SANCRANT.
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.
ANTHONY LESHER, 40.
SUSAN WESTFALL, 7, of New Baltimore.
MRS. BARBARA FORTON, 28, of New Baltimore
Daily Cpaital News Jefferson City Missouri 1964-05-09