A string of tornadoes ripped through Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania on May 31, 1985, killing eighty-nine, injuring over one thousand, and causing more than $600 million worth of damage. "Death from the Sky" read the headline of the Erie Times newspaper the following day.
Albion in Pennsylvania was particularly devastated by this storm. An F5 tornado cut a two-block wide path through the town, killing twelve and injuring dozens more. The local Catholic parish, St. Lawrence, was literally sliced in half. The pastor, Father Robert Reilly, survived by holding on to a window frame as the rest of the rectory was blown away.