Felton, DE Tornado, Jan 1967



Felton, Del. (AP) -- A tornado struck this farming community of 1,000 Friday, slightly injuring seven persons, destroying a service station and damaging more than a dozen homes.
One house was lifted from its foundation and moved 15 feet.
The injured persons were taken to Kent General Hospital in Dover, the state capital six miles to the north, where a spokesman said no one was seriously hurt.
The twister struck just across U.S. 13 from the 12-grade Felton Public School, but none of the 1,150 pupils inside was hurt. The only damage to the building was one window blown out.
"I saw the thing coming," Jay F. Biggs, son of the owner of the demolished gasoline station, said at the hospital.
"I pushed my father behind me and then it hit us."
Clark Brittingham, another Felton resident taken to the hospital said: "All I heard was a whistle, and that's all I remember." Brittingham was in bed when the tornado struck.
The tornado demolished one gasoline station, damaged another and seriously damaged six of the 14 homes hit. A house behind the destroyed service station was lifted from its foundation, moved 15 feet and set back down, one eyewitness said.
The tornado was accompanied by heavy rains. Officials at Dover Air Force Base tied down all aircraft. The base escaped damage.
The Felton school complex includes a two-story high school building, a one-story elementary building and some trailers which serve as portable classrooms.
"Nobody was hurt out there either," Mrs. Cohee said of the portable classrooms. "One window was blown in but outside of that they were all fine."
After everyone hit the floor on the end of the building toward the tornado, she said, "we stayed there three or four minutes but it started to lighten up almost immediately."
Pupils were kept in their classrooms for a while, she said, "to prevent any injury in the hall by people panicking. They were sent home later, when the buses came."
The twister hit Felton amid high winds and thunderstorms which raked the general area. A 23,000-volt line was felled in Felton but power was restored to most residents an hour afterward.

The Cumberland News Maryland 1967-01-28