Raleigh City Cemetery Tornado Destruction Video

April, 17, 2011, by Jedidiah

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Raleigh City Cemetery, Post-Tornado from abbyladybug on Vimeo.

One of the saddest parts of Saturday's Downtown Raleigh tornado has been the destruction of Raleigh City Cemetery located between New Bern Avenue and Hargett Street on East Street. It is the oldest public cemetery in Raleigh, established by the General Assembly in 1798. " Burials include founding fathers of Raleigh, legislators, free and slave African Americans, and stone masons from England and Scotland who helped build the state capitol building." 

In the video above, shot by our friend Abbyladybug, you can see all of the havoc that was leashed on the cemetery, uprooting trees, destorying tombstones and more. A lot of Raleigh's huge oak trees and history lost in the storm.

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TornadoRaleigh City Cemetery


  • Kit Cosper
    04/17 04:11 PM

    Trees don’t live forever - perhaps they can be honored by converting them to lumber to build benches for the cemetery where people can sit and watch the new trees grow?  Hopefully the markers can be repaired or replaced with substantially identical versions - our cemeteries are rich in history and cultural significance, hopefully none of that will be lost.

  • Abby
    04/17 04:18 PM

    I really do sound like the double rainbow guy, but the whole thing was really shocking. Better quality video would have been nice, but I wasn’t sure about the battery on the camera, the amount of space on the video card, and I wanted something I’d be able to upload, so I picked the low-res version on my little Canon PowerShot G9. I think you get the idea though. This is going to take a long time to clean up.

  • Darwin
    04/17 04:41 PM

    Thanks for the video! (Pro tip: turn the sound off. It will make you want to punch things less.)

  • Lucy Pittman
    04/17 04:51 PM

    Raleigh City Cemeteries Preservation does has a facebook account. Please become a fan of our page and become a member of our organization, just $15. We also have a website http://www.rccpreservation.org that updates our cleaning events and outreach opportunities.

  • Abby
    04/18 12:53 AM

    Hey, Darwin. Why you gotta hate? I was pretty devastated. It’s my hood.

  • NoTrucks
    04/18 07:57 AM

    Why is the lady making the video laughing so much. Sounds like she is being entertained by the devastation. Kind of disturbing and Sounds like a sorortiy girl. My heart goes out to those affected. Wish the video was done with more compasion and tast.

  • LoganTV
    04/18 10:31 AM

    Real bummer to lose all those trees and see the graveyard so torn up. It’s one of my favorite spots in Raleigh.  @Lucy thanks for the link. will definitely share that.

  • Heather A.
    04/18 11:38 AM

    New Raleigh & readers - does anyone know if there are any churches or groups offering meals to the folks in the downtown area who’ve been affected? Does anyone know where people have been relocated to?

  • Heather A.
    04/18 12:19 PM

    Thanks for the video Abby.

    Got some answers in case anyone else had the same questions:
    “Wake County and the City of Raleigh are organizing people for future volunteer efforts. Interested people can call either the Wake County Emergency Operations Center at 919-856-7044 or send an e-mail to Raleigh Assistant City Manager Dan Howe via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
    The county is also collecting storm debris to aid in clean-up efforts at various sites in the area.
    “It is very important that only trained workers aid people affected by the storm,” Wake County Emergency Management Director Josh Creighton said in a statement. “While we truly appreciate the spirit of generosity, it can be extremely dangerous for volunteers and those they are attempting to aid.” WRAL

  • Lara
    04/18 05:44 PM

    NoTrucks - Way to be judgmental over the fact that someone, shocked by her neighborhood’s destruction and struggling to deal with the situation, sounds like a woman. I mean, “sorority girl”? Where the heck do you get that from? She IS one of those affected, like she said in the comments.

  • Abby
    04/19 03:24 PM

    I am not a sorority girl. I’m a Licensed Psychologist who is really upset about losing a beautiful landmark in my neighborhood. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

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