Paterson, NJ Tornado, Jul 1903
TORNADO SWEEPS OVER PATERSON.
FOUR ARE KILLED AND MANY HOUSES WRECKED.
MISSILES HURT SCORES.
SMALL BUILDINGS CARRIED GREAT DISTANCE -- DEVASTATION IN SECTION THAT ESCAPED DAMAGE BY GREAT FIRE AND FLOOD.
Paterson, N.J., July 22 -- A dense black cloud, assuming the shape of a cone, and whirling with furious rapidity, loomed up over the top of Garrett Mountain, just southeast of Paterson, at 3 o'clock this afternoon. In less than ten minutes it swept over that section of the city known as South Paterson, killing four persons, seriously injuring fifteen, and hurting more than a hundred, and wrecking six buildings and damaging more than 200 others. Then it passed over the Passaic River, across the meadows and disappeared in the air.
The scene of devastation was almost as extensive as that that Peterson saw after her great fire last year. The section of the city that suffered this time was crowded with mills and factories and the homes of the hundreds of employes, who, while at their work today, suffered injury, or are now telling of their almost marvelous escape from death.
Darkness followed the catastrophe so closely that it has been impossilbe tonight to make and accurate calculation of the pecuntary damage wrought.
Shortly after 2 o'clock the clear sky became cloudy. Steadily it grew darker and darker, until it became necessary to turn on lights in the business houses and homes.
Then dimly outlined against the dark sky appeared the still blacker funnel shaped cloud. Few beheld it, as almost everybody, fearing the storm, had sought shelter indoors. The cloud was suspended for a moment some distance above the mountain, then descended with fearsome rapidity and swirled across the part of town lying north and east of it.
Roofs of houses were wrested from their fastenings and blown around and around by the force of the wind, other buildings in the path were twisted on their foundations, out buildings were picked up and carried great distances and were dashed to pieces against other objects or fell when the storm had passed. Trees were uprooted, huge
boards and timbers from a lumber yard were sent whirling in the air, and trolley and telephone wires fell beneath the debris that was strewn about in the roughest manner imaginable.
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