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1912 - TORNADO

Grand Rapids, Mich, July 13. - Grand Rapids was hit early today by a cyclone that injured forty or more persons and did thousands of dollars worth of damage. The storm entered the city from the southwest about four o'clock. The first place struck was the city market and the Grand Rapids Central league base ball park adjoining.

The market was crowded with farmers and their teams as trading had just begun. As the storm struck, the roof of the ball park grand stand was lifted and hurled to pieced, being scattered all over the market.

A panic followed. Horses were killed and a great many persons hurt, some so badly they had to be sent to the hospital. The police reserves and fire department were called.

Sweeps Across City. The storm then swept across town striking the best residence district.

The base ball park and the city market received the brunt of the storm and at the market large injuries occurred.

It as just before the 4 o'clock opening bell rang that the tornado struck. Suddenly a whirling balloon like cloud appeared racing from the southwest and headed directly toward the clustered produce wagons.

The deafening roar of the roof of the ball park grand stand was lifted high in the air and fell in a veritable rain of great planks and beams upon the frightened men and wagons in the market place.

Wild Panic Ensues. Immediately there was a panic. Men and women, thrown down by the wind were run over and redered [rendered] unconscious by dashing teams. Nellie Wiersma, a seller was the most unfortunate. As the storm broke she attempted to quite here frightened horses. Down she went and in a moment two heavy fruit wagons had passed over her body. She may die. Many other persons suffered broken limbs but it is thought all will recover.

It is estimated that the storm did close to $10,000 damage on the market in destruction to produce, wrecked wagons, etc., and several thousands of dollars damage to residence property.

The tornado was indirectly the cause of the death of Charles Gibbs, 57 years of age, who was suffering from a nervous disease. The shock of the storm was too much for his weakened condition.

The Fort Wayne Sentinel

Fort Wayne, Indiana

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