‘Life will keep moving;’ Last building damaged in Memorial Day Tornados demolished

HARRISON TOWNSHIP — It’s been almost five years, and the impact of the 2019 Memorial Day Tornado outbreak remains.

>>WATCH: Drone video of tornado damage in Harrison Twp.

News Center 7′s Kayla McDermott visited the once-antique car shop during its last major demolition Tuesday.

Ron Hilden was the owner of Ron Hilden’s Antique and Classic for decades. It was located on the 5000 block of North Main Street.

It needed to be demolished after the tornados stuck because it was a “nuisance/dangerous property,” according to a social media post by Harrison Township.

“It’s like life. Life will keep moving on,” Hilden said. “I was there for 43 years and that was a lifetime.”

He watched as the business he grew up in came down.

Now he visits the debris just to reminisce.

>>PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Driver catches images of Memorial Day EF4 tornado in Harrison Twp.

“Those two places have been in my heart (and) in my head for a long time,” Hilden said.

Unfortunately, when the tornados ripped through Harrison Township in 2019, the antique store was right in the middle of its path.

“The property was severely damaged…This was the last big property that was damaged in that tornado to come down,” Harrison Township Developmental Director Emily Crow said.

More than 80 properties in the township were damaged, and more than 50 have had to be demolished.

“These properties have been a harbor for you know, vermin, nuisance behaviors, and they also are a threat to our public health,” Crow said.

With the damaged structures gone, the township hopes it will help its community move forward, past the painful memories the tornadoes caused.

“I was just in the basement, and I said, ‘oh my gosh,’ and I was out of my house for about 11 days,” Harrison Township resident Jennie Eisnaugle said.

>>RELATED: Harrison Township to demolish Memorial Day tornado damaged property

This clean slate will allow for new development to take over, but no matter what is built, Hilden will always remember what once was.

“There was a lot of history there…I don’t know what will happen. with it. I hope that a gas station I don’t think it will be,” Hilden said.

Harrison Township officials said that all the demolitions are complete, and the next phase for this area will be to rebuild.

One of their main focuses will be developing more housing.

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