Niles, Ohio: Difference between revisions

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{{Main|1985 United States-Canadian tornado outbreak}}
Niles' economy was undermined in the 1970s, when the Mahoning Valley's steel industry &ndash; already in decline &ndash; collapsed. Amid the economic challenges that followed, the community faced another natural catastrophe. On May 31, 1985, the city of Niles was struck by an F5 tornado that had its origins just west of [[Newton Falls, Ohio|Newton Falls]], where it destroyed much of that town. The tornado then moved through [[Lordstown, Ohio|Lordstown]] and [[Warren, Ohio|Warren]], before wreaking havoc on Niles, where it flattened a skating rink and [[shopping mall]]. The tornado also leveled dozens of houses, ripped through the city's historic Union Cemetery, injured many people, and took several lives. As it progressed toward Pennsylvania, the tornado never left the ground. In the Niles area alone, nine people were killed, and 250 were injured. Nearly 70 homes were leveled and another 65 to 70 were severely damaged. In the Mahoning and Shenango valleys a total of 25 people died and 500 people were injured, and there was $140 million in property damage.<ref name="niles"/> A large figure of a gorilla (an advertising tool for a now-defunct ceramic store) is all that remained standing in one district affected by the tornado. The tornado of 1985 took a path through Niles that was almost identical to that of a tornado that struck in 1947.<ref>{{cite web|url = http://www.may311985tornadoes.com |title = May 31, 1985 Memorial|archiveurl = httphttps://web.archive.org/web/20090819234355/http://www.may311985tornadoes.com/|archivedate = 19 August 2009}}</ref>
 
==Geography==
941,422

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