Tornado has touched down once again in Kanawha County.
On Thursday, the U.S. Board of Geographical Names (BGN) voted to restore the historic name of one unincorporated town back to Tornado.
Last month, without consent from any of the citizens or local government, many navigational maps inserted the name Upper Falls in place of the traditional name of Tornado, which had been used since 1899.
“This was the almost idiotic situation where one person filed a petition and got the name changed,” said Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper.
The reason given to the BGN for changing the name is unclear to this day. Carper said the whole situation was unorthodox.
“The notice that we got was very limited on this,” said Carper. “I think we got an email that went to the receptionist and no one believed they would just change the name based on one person’s petition.”
But that’s exactly what happened.
Once the commission finally learned of the change, a public meeting was held on February 28 where several residents, state and local lawmakers voiced their disapproval of the change.
“Senator Rockefeller, Senator Manchin, Congresswoman Capito, the community, all asked us to do something,” said Carper. “We petitioned the board, they’ve changed the name back and we are very grateful .”
Carper said it would not have been possible without support from residents and lawmakers. The offices of U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, and Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito also sent petitions to the BGN.
Carper adds that now the fire chief in Tornado will not have to repaint his fire truck again.