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.
THE DEAD AND INJURED.
FOUR WERE KILLED AND MANY HURT BY FLYING DEBRIS.
Paterson, N.J., July 22. - A partial list of the dead and injured as the result of today's tornado was furnished by the police tonight.
JOSEPH GLASS, patient in General Hospital; died of fright.
RICHARD HANCOCK, six years of age, of 73 Chestnut Street; head cut off by flying debris.
MRS. MARY NEVIN, seventy-five years, of Straight Street; died from fright.
JOSEPH VAN DAM, twenty years of age, 155 North Main Street; crushed by falling building.
VITO BOKITCH, compound fracture of the right leg.
MEYER BONE, owner of the building at 680 Main Street, which collapsed; cut and bruised, cuts caused by glass and timbers, portions of which were imbedded in the flesh.
MRS. BURNS, cut and bruised; suffering from shock.
MRS. JAMES BURNS, daughter-in-law of above; cuts and bruises.
MISS BURNS, daughter of above; scalp wound, cuts and bruises.
JOHN CONNOLLY, steel worker in same mill; cut and bruised in similar manner, but less severely.
WILLIAM H. DUNN, 3 Beech Street, Passaic, driver of the United States Express Company's wagon; sprained back, serious; St Joseph's Hospital.
JACOB MILLER, Albion Place; seriously hurt.
ISAAC MINDER, plumber at work on same building; cut and bruised.
WILLIAM PERRY, employed in the rolling mill; seriously hurt.
MRS. WILLIAM ROBINSON, Dover Street; cuts and bruised.
JOHN SAUNDERS, Main Street, steel worker in Passaic Rolling Mills, St. Joseph's Hospital; body and face badly cut and bruised; was struck on body by many flying bricks and may die.
MRS. JANE SMITH, Dover Street; cut and bruised.
The doctors at the two hospitals took no record of those they treated for minor injuries, and also omotted to register the names of those who will have to return for further treatment. THey kept a rough count of the cases looked after during the late afternoon and evening and estimate that in the two hospitals about seventy or eighty were treated. Besides these, private doctors dressed the wounds of a large number. All told fully 125 were severely enough hurt to require medical aid. In many cases the injuries consisted of cuts and lacerations.
One case was recalled at the General Hospital where a sliver of wood had been driven two inches into the hip of a man. The doctors said that from the bruises about the incision they believed the man had been hit by a timber and that the sliver broke from it.
The New York Times
New York, New York
July 23, 1903
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