Albion, Marshall, Niles, Battle Creek, MI Tornado, Mar 1913
TORNADO PASSED OVER CITY THIS MORNING.
CONSIDERABLE DAMAGE DONE TO CARS IN THE MICHIGAN CENTRAL YARDS.
TWO CARS UNROOFED EAST OF CITY WRECKING ALL TELEGRAPH LINES -- INTERURBAN PUT OUT OF SERVICE.
A tornado doing thousands of dollars worth of damage passed over this section of the state this forenoon. It is impossible to ascertain the exact amount of loss as many telegraph and telephone lines were put out of commission.
The storm came up about 9:00 o'clock and the wind was terrific. It came from the southwest. As far as could be ascertained the worst damage was done in the Michigan Central yards in this city and to a freight train about two miles east of the city.
The freight train was coming west and the tornado lifted the roofs off two of the box cars as the train speeded along. The roofs were carried high in the air and in dropping fell on the telegraph wires and broke every wire as well as wrecking two poles. Considerable of the fence along the right of way was also leveled. The train continued to this city. One of the unroofed cars was loaded with flour and was billed for Kalamazoo. The entire force at the freight house was put to work as soon as the car arrived here and the flour was transferred into another car having a roof to keep it from getting wet. The other car was loaded with merchandise for distribution along the line and this also was transferred to another car.
A car standing south of the freight house had a portion of the roof blown off and landed on top of the freight house.
Just east of PAGE Bros' Buggy factory considerable damage was done to cars on the sidetrack. One car which had just been loaded with vehicles by PAGE Bros.' Buggy Co., for shipment to Bryan, O., had the entire roof taken off and carried over and laid on the main track. A special crew with an engine was at once called out from the shops and the car was backed up to the factory and the vehicles which are valued at $1,000 were unloaded, later reloaded into another car. As the rain had turned to snow considerable damage was prevented being done to the vehicles.
Another car unroofed was loaded with beans for eastern markets; another with merchandise. These cars were received from the Allegan division to be sent east over the main line. The cars were unloaded as soon as possible to prevent the contents from being damaged.
A car occupied by Italians, who work on the section, and stationed near Linden street had the roof entirely taken off and it landed over in WM. GROENING'S yard. The cooking utensils and clothing of the Italians was badly damaged. Another car was at once ordered for them and as soon as it arrived they transferred their goods to it.
All the section hands and employes from the shops were summoned to clear the wrecked roofs off the main track. The gates at the Kalamazoo avenue crossing were also demolished.
At the court house the covering of the cupalo was landed just north of the jail office.
On the South Haven division of the Michigan Central a passenger train was wrecked at Berlamont, the trucks being blown from under it. No one was injured as far as could be ascertained.
It was necessary to run trains on the main line and Allegan division of the Michigan Central by the block signals as all the wires were put out of commission.
There were several signs along State street torn loose and several persons had narrow escaped. At the new library building in Mansion street the dummy door was blown in but no damage was done. At St. Mary's church a portion of the scaffolding on the steeple was blown down and one lady who was passing narrowly escaped being struck.
The storm was the means of no circuit court being held. Judge NORTH who usually comes over on the 8:06 car did not get that car and he intended to take the car arriving here at 9:06 a.m. but the tornado occurred in the meantime and put the interurban out of commission for the balance of the day. Judge NORTH phoned to County Clerk CADY to adjourn court until Monday.
Several employes of the Commonwealth Power Co., who were at the Royal hotel were ordered to Battle Creek to assist in repairing the damage done to the Commonwealth Power plant, but they could not get away before noon on the Michigan Central.
In Albion the plant of the Malable Iron Works was badly damaged. The roof was blown off and strewn all over the Michigan Central tracks. This addition was recently built.
At Niles the damages will amount to thousands of dollars and it is reported the city was partially destroyed but particulars are unobtainable on account of the wires being down.
The cause of the tie-up on the interurban was a broken high tension wire east of Albion; also the Commonwealth wires in Battle Creek were blown into the Battle Creek millpond and it was impossible to repair them today. These wires feed the interurban east of Battle Creek.
At the residence of City Recorder I. W. BUCHANAN in west Green St., one of the large windows on the west side of the residence was blown in.
Evening Chronicle Marshall Michigan 1913-03-21