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.