Tornado destroys more than 50 graves in Pierce Township Cemetery

Posted at 7:24 PM, Mar 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-02 19:36:15-05

PIERCE TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- The EF1 tornado that struck Amelia in the early hours of Wednesday morning didn't only knock down power lines and tear the siding off residents' houses. As Jennifer Kneller was heartbroken to learn, it also destroyed more than 50 graves at nearby Pierce Township Cemetery.

Her grandmother's was one of them.

"I was the closest to her, probably, out of anyone in my life, so it is devastating," she said. 

The graveyard was littered with broken-off pieces of stone Wednesday morning; some of the headstones had been split in half by strong winds.

Garry Unthank, who works for J.R.'s Trees, was clearing up part of the mess when he nearly backed into the final resting places of his own family members. 

Alice Davis, who also has loved ones interred in the cemetery, said she hoped the damage would be fixed soon. 

"It's just hard to look at this way," she said.

The cemetery filed an insurance claim, officials said, but was not sure if that would cover all of the damage done to the property.