Nome, AK Storm, Oct 1913

Great Storm Sweeps Nome

Nome is Visited By Fearful Storm-Beach Side of Front Street Wiped Out-Loss Will Be Million-Three Lives Reported Lost-Buildings Topple and Fall When Breakers Pound Over Business District-Worst in History of North-Brings Back memories of 1910 Storm.

Nome, Alaska, Oct.7.-Nome's business district practically swept away; hundred of thousands of dollars in property lost; five hundred homeless; ruin and destruction and desolation everywhere, and the end not in sight, is the condition existing here today, as a result of a storm that broke with tremendous fury early yesterday morning and continues unabated. There have been no lives lost.

One mile of Front Street has been washed away. The Elite baths and hotel, a four story building, crashed to the ground at the mercy of the waves at 3 a.m. yesterday. Huge walls of water rushed swirling and eddying over the wreckage and a din like the roar of canonn (sic) struck terror to the people.

The scenes in Front Street yesterday were indescribable. Jewelry stores, warehouses, dry goods stores, restaurants, saloons-all this section of Front Street, has been swept out. Breakers forty feet high swept over Front Street. All hands were commandeered to aid in securing the effects of the stricken businessmen. Thousands of dollars worth of goods have been swept out to sea and with winter at hand a famine is feared, as the provisions and stores of the city have been practically wiped out.

Every building along the beach side of Front Street is in ruins. The Board of Trade saloon and restaurant was among the earlier buildings to suffer destruction.

The life saving station is swept away. Nome spent a night of horror last night. The blackness added to the terror of the scene and the terrific wind and rain continued with greater fury.

At 10 o'clock this morning it is feared the entire business section of Nome will be carried away. The people are working hopefully and with the spirit of the times are facing the situation bravely.

It is estimated that fully five hundred people are homeless.

Every building on the sandspit has been washed away excepting the cold storage plant. This building is weakening and may go any minute. The workers are unable to cope with the water and are confining their efforts to moving goods to places of safety.

The storm first broke Saturday morning. A fifty-mile gale blew but this velocity was soon increased to sixty miles, according to weather observations.

By noon yesterday the calamity was almost at its height. The suddenness with which the storm increased left the city entirely unprepared to receive it. Sunday the storm raged and notice was posted that the steamer Victoria would not sail for Seattle until its abatement. Little alarm was felt in Nome Sunday. By midnight the first signs of approaching destruction were in evidence. The firebells were rung to summon the people, but before the hastily called meeting had assembled the waved began to pour onto Front Street. Each receding comber carried debris with it.

Daily Alaska Dispatch, Juneau, AK 8 Oct 1913