PITTSTON TOWNSHIP -- The one year anniversary of the rare February tornado hitting parts of Lackawanna and Luzerne counties is this Sunday, February 25.
"I say it's the year that wasn't because it took us an entire year to put ourselves back together," Charles Salvo of Pittston Township said.
Salvo and his wife, Joyce, are finally back living at their home in Pittston Township. They are looking back on the last year, and how quickly their lives changed that February day.
"All of the sudden everything stopped, and when I came upstairs, all I saw was sky," Salvo said.
The Salvo family lost their entire roof and chimney. Their home on Chapel Road in Pittston Township saw some of the most devastating damage. After months and months of rebuilding and restoring, the family moved back home on December 29.
"It was an unbelievable experience, but we're very thankful for everyone that helped us," Joyce Salvo said.
The week leading up to that mild February day was unseasonably warm. We even broke a record for the warmest day ever recorded in February at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport in Avoca just one day before the tornado hit. Now one year later, and another week with near-record warmth, those affected by the tornado can't help but reminisce.
"We're going to win the lottery." Salvo laughed. "It brings back memories, sometimes you say to yourself, 'Am I dreaming? Pinch me. I can't believe that happened.'"
The National Weather Service says that rare February tornado had a path nearly 13 miles long. After hitting parts of Luzerne County, the storm moved north through Lackawanna County, before it finally lifted north of Lake Scranton.
"I received a phone call from Luzerne County EMA advising that we potentially were going to have a tornado, which was shocking in and of itself. Then when it came to the realization it was a shocker for everyone," said Tony Ranieli of Pittston Township Emergency Management.
Less than one month after that record warmth and the tornado last year, most of Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania was digging out of more than two feet of snow in March.