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F2 and F3 tornadoes are considered strong, packing winds of 113-206 mph that can cause major to severe damage.

They said it couldn't happen here!
As many of our old residents will attest, they would all say time and again we will never have a tornado here, because we are in a valley, and are protected by the hills.
It happened !
At approximately 5:52 pm (thats when my clock stopped), on August 24, 2007 a tornado came through Fenton. It touched down briefly around U.S. 23, and hopped and skipped through downtown taking most the stately old trees we have all come to know and love in our beautiful town. Damage was incurred by several buildings and homes, some a little, some alot, some having to be condemned.
The tornado could not have had a more direct route through town, starting with the Fenton Intermediate School (old Fenton High School) and continuing on to the Community Center, United Methodist Church, pathing down East Ellen Street and jumping up and onto Main Street, hitting the Howard Street area on the way, and then heading out of town.
The beauty of the tree canopied downtown we once all loved and cherished, has changed forever. Maybe 60 years from now it might resemble somewhat, that which we all enjoyed.
The parades on the 4th of July will be hotter now, as we have no trees to shade us, and the liesurely walks down the river by the community center will no longer be encompassed by the wonderful shade. It looks barren now.  They say we will replant. But there are many of us who will never see the beauty it beheld again in our lifetime.
The tornado took only minutes to go through...but the ambiance of our town is gone for a very long time to come.
I am reminded now in certain sections of town, what it must have looked like over 150 years ago, when all the trees had been cut down to make homes. The very old photos we see show a barren landscape dotted with buildings, but no shade.
I am one to always look for a silver lining. Think of this...we all have a slight glimpse of the past now, they dont have to take any trees down and anger some people, to make way for the addition of the Arts Center at the Community Center. The Gazebo came through beautifully!!!! (This was one of the first things I looked for) and we can now replant with maybe some special trees, that one day will make it exceptionally beautiful downtown.
There are a couple sites on the web that offer some great photos of the damage to Fenton. There is a video of the actual tornado touching down and one from the south of it going through town. I will post below the links to those sites, and select a few of my own and others to put on a photo page.
If you have any photos you would like to donate to the Historical Society for future generations to see, please drop by with them, we can always make a copy of your disk or photos if you only have originals.
We are blessed in the fact that no one was killed in this F2 tornado, and our town still stands proud, along with the many historical homes that came through this event just fine!
We wish to extend our thank you to all the people who put an effort into the many hours of cleanup in our town, To the Emergency personel who worked tirelessly for days, and especially to Consumers Energy for the outstanding job they did in getting power back up with so many lines down and destroyed.

A very special Thank You to Vic Canever Chevrolet, for the Crimson Maple planted on Oct. 19th !
Vic Canever has donated more than 20 mature maples and pines to the city to replace some of the trees lost in the tornado.

Tomek-Eastern Elementary is working on a campaign to raise money to replace trees in the three downtown parks (Rackham, Millpond and O’Donnell). We have named our campaign “New Trees, Please”. Our students have done chores, donated money and we may be sponsoring bake sales throughout the year.  Our teachers placed donation containers at between 25 and 30 locations in the city, The support from the businesses in town where we placed the containers was wonderful.  The parks are the heritage our community holds for future generations who will live in Fenton.  We are helping our children understand the part they can play in that process.  Donations are continuing to be accepted at Tomek-Eastern Elementary, 600 4th St., Fenton, Michigan, 48430.  Please make the checks out to New Trees, Please!  Thank you for your support.

Here are some links to the photos......

This is from the Detroit News channel 4. If you watch the video at about half way through you will see the clip of the tornado touching down. I have contacted the person who owns the clip, and am in the process of trying to get the video. We are in need of someone who can take a video off a camera phone and get it onto disk...please contact me if you can :)

A resident just south of Fenton caught this video of the tornado movin east down Main/Grange Hall road. The Tornado is the dark portion moving east with light clouds on both sides.

There are alot of videos posted by Youtube subscribers of our damage, news clips etc. check out this page.

Probably the best photos I have seen yet of the damage, taken over a couple days time, by Art Parnell. A must see !

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