Tuesday, April 17, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Storms

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of April 16, 2018, is Storms.

I searched for the word “storm” on the online South Georgia Historic Newspapers Archive for my home town Valdosta, Georgia. I found a 1912 article about a “cyclone” that had come through Lowndes County, where Valdosta is the county seat. Most of the damage was in the Old Redland and Clyattville districts of Lowndes south of Valdosta.

From The Valdosta Times, March 26, 1912

The March 26, 1912, Valdosta Times article, “Cyclone Hit Lowndes Hard Sunday Early,” reports that John Wisenbaker’s home, about six miles south of Valdosta, was destroyed by the storm. His family had escaped to the smoke house. The nearby Wisenbaker and Carroll school was blown down. John Carroll was blown against a fence when he was caught in the storm, and Ben Belote’s coat was torn from his body when he tried to go to Mr. Carroll’s aid. Both men escaped with no serious injuries.

A tree was blown across the Rocky Ford bridge, in the Redland district, south of Valdosta, causing extensive damage. At C. L. Smith’s home near Rocky Ford, the wind blew his dining room from his house and blew the roof from his corn crib. 

Ben Southall was caught out in the storm while going for a doctor. The roof of his buggy was blown off and he was blown from the buggy. The buggy was hurled around to one side and nearly turned over. Mr. Southall was rather bruised up from the incident.

Further south in Lowndes County, near Lake Park, people in the clubhouse and even upstairs at the Ocean Pond Fishing Club were drenched with water when it rushed inside and up the stairs. 

It was estimated that the storm set the farmers back about three or four days with their crops. The storm leveled hundreds of trees and several miles of fences. There were no fatalities and no severe injuries from the storm. 

There wasn’t much wind in the city of Valdosta during the storm, but the torrential rain over-flooded the street drains, and the streets were “badly washed up.” 

These kinds of storms are pretty frightening! Thank goodness I've never been caught out in one.


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