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Tornado to keep its name

By Staff reports

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Tornado can still be called Tornado.

The U.S. Board of Geographical Names voted on Thursday to restore the town's name after some modern maps had changed it to "Upper Falls."

Kanawha County commissioners held a public meeting Feb. 28 and about a dozen people spoke in favor of "Tornado." No one was in favor of "Upper Falls."

Officials for the U.S. Geological Survey recently changed the unincorporated town's name.

Kanawha County Commission assistant Colt Sandoro told county commissioners last month that Robert Thompson, a resident of the area, petitioned the U.S. Geological Survey's place names division to change the name Tornado to Upper Falls. Federal officials approved the change, but local authorities didn't find out about it until after the fact.

Commission President Kent Carper said in a statement that Thursday's decision wouldn't have been possible if Tornado Volunteer Fire Chief Greg Childress and other concerned citizens hadn't brought it to people's attention.

"The community's name has been Tornado since 1881," Childress said at the Feb. 28 meeting. He'd said the area was once known as Upper Falls, but it was before West Virginia was a separate state.

 


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