Standing under a sparkling blue sky, Candice Powell picked through the rubble of what had once been her two-story frame home, looking for "sentimental stuff -- that's all that's left."
Her home and the homes of at least 50 others in this western Pennsylvania borough of 1,100 had been turned to wreckage in seconds by the force of one of dozens of tornadoes that sliced through Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and Canada Friday night.
But the damage here was not merely to brick and mortar.
The twister killed six people, including one man unable to reach the safety of a basement because he was confined to a wheelchair.
Two of the victims were children, one an infant.
"My grandparents and my uncle live next door," Powell said. "My uncle had been sleeping on the second floor and woke up on the ground. He didn't know what hit him."
She said her grandparents also were home when the twister hit and they had to unbury themselves from the splintered dwelling to get help for their injuries.
She added that two of her nephews and a niece living across the street also had been trapped inside their home.
The three children were rescued and taken to a local hospital along with her grandparents and her uncle.
James Seifert of Fort Myers, Fla., had just arrived in Wheatland Friday when the tornado roared through.
He had been driving a big tractor-trailer full of Florida watermelons.
"It picked up my rig, made it go straight up in the air then tossed it a couple of hundred feet," Seifert said, pointing to his truck, lying crumpled amid the wreckage of three homes. The watermelons were nowhere to be seen.
Seifert had been staying with his sister and brother-in-law when the cyclone hit.
"I got them into the basement just when it hit," he said.
His brother-in-law wasn't so lucky. "Bob was in a wheelchair and couldn't get down far enough. He died when the house collapsed. His wheelchair is still sitting there where he died," Seifert said.
Russell Hancox had been renting a room in the three-story Shenango Hotel. All that is left of the hotel are a few boards and bricks.
"I found a coat, a right hunting boot and a tailpipe hanger," Hancox said as he roamed amid the rubble looking for other belongings.
Hancox and hundreds of others worked today to try to recover cherished items. Warm temperatures and clear skies made the setting surreal, given the violence of the night before.
Harvey Ravenscraft was at the Sharon Steel Plant in Wheatland when the twister demolished his home. His brother made it safely into the basement, but his wife was bruised as the tornado tossed her around inside the dwelling.Ravenscraft's son and daughter-in-law, Harvey Jr. and Shirley, also lost their home -- now a pile of broken boards. As they climbed among the debris, Shirley called for her kitten and cried that she had to find her family Bible.
"One of the worst things this tornado did was to knock out what little industry we did have," said National Guard Staff Sgt. Al Ruth. "The Saw Hill Pipe Mill is gone." But Ruth said, "There wasn't anybody there; the plant had been on strike for a while, thank God.