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One Year Passes Since Manchester and Rural Oneida/Greeley Tornadoes

A year ago this week, Manchester and rural areas between Oneida and Greeley were busy cleaning up following an early spring tornado. 

Delaware County residents took cover as tornado warnings were issued on Friday night, March 31st, 2023, with two tornadoes touching down – both rated EF1 on the weak end of the scale. 

According to a survey completed by the National Weather Service, the first tornado first hit two miles southwest of Manchester and then moved through the southeast part of town up through East Main Street and Baum Park, damaging farms, homes and trees along its path. The Manchester tornado was about 50 yards wide and reached wind speeds of 110 miles per hour. Its path was about four miles long.

The National Weather Service says a second tornado developed southwest of Oneida and moved northeast, damaging farm buildings, trees and other structures in its path. The tornado’s path was about two and a half miles long. It’s not known how wide the tornado was, but it also reached speeds of 110 miles per hour. 

Residents spent days, weeks and months cleaning up from those two tornadoes, with tarps covering the roofs and windows of several Manchester homes until permanent repairs could be made – and for some, the work is still ongoing. Sherman’s Pumpkin Farm, which suffered considerable damage, worked to rebuild and re-open in time for the 2023 fall season. And the City of Manchester has replaced the trees lost in the tornado at Baum Park. City Parks and Rec Director Doug Foley says they lost eight trees that night, most of which were the mature trees remaining in the park after the Emerald Ash Borer – but he’s happy to say they’ve replanted eight more trees to take their place. The City also lost their open air shelter at Baum Park in last year’s tornado. Foley says they’re potentially looking at a bigger project to replace that, which would include a new shelter and a re-design and upgrade to the restrooms. 

The two Delaware County tornadoes were part of a historic tornado outbreak that occurred across the United States on March 31st and April 1st of 2023. There were 147 tornadoes surveyed across 16 states, making it the 3rd-highest number of tornadoes in a 24-hour period in the U.S. since 1950. Locally, 29 tornadoes broke out in the National Weather Service Quad Cities’ warning area – the most on record for a single day. 



archived photos of Baum Park, Manchester home and Manchester tree damage

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