Remembering the Xenia Tornado: Janine and Brian Montgomery (Part 1)

Mar 31, 2014

Brian and Janine Montgomery
Credit Tamar Kreke

On April 3, 1974 people in Xenia saw black smoke rising, like a wall.  Then the wall started turning, in slow motion and they knew what was coming.  It was an F-5 tornado. There were twisters all through Ohio and in other states- 148 were confirmed that day throughout the United States and Canada.

The tornado that struck Xenia killed 32 people and injured over 1000. Two National Guardsmen also died fighting a fire. Hundreds of homes were shredded into bits and downtown was demolished.

As part of an oral history project, staffers from the Greene County Public Library interviewed people who were in Xenia that day. And those voices make up our series, Remembering the Xenia Tornado: 40 Years Later.

We begin with Janine and Brian Montgomery, both young teachers living in Xenia.

Tomorrow Janine and Brian Montgomery talk about what happened after the tornado. Tamar Kreke interviewed the Montgomery's. Series producer is Alan Staiger of the Greene County Public Library. For more on the Greene County Public Library's Voices of Greene County series, click here.