Vulcan, AB Canadian Tornado, July 1927

Photo of the Vulcan Tornado

CYCLONE SWEEPS VULCAN AND DISTRICT.

VULCAN SKATAING RINK UNROOFED; MOTOR CAR CARRIED THROUGH AIR; BARN AND DAIRY BLOWN 200 FEET.

DARK CLOUD FROM THE WEST CARRIES FORCE THAT WRECKS BUILDINGS IN VULCAN TOWN AND IN COUNTRY CLOSE BY -- HAILSTONES OF UNUSUAL SIZE FALL IN STORM BUT NO SERIOUS CROP DAMAGE REPORTED -- NO LOS OF LIFE REPORTED -- TELEPHONE LINES SUFFER GREATLY.

Vulcan, July 8. -- Hurling the barn and dairy equipment of J. D. MONTGOMERY, who lives two and a half miles southwest of here, two hundred feet in the air, and shattering the lumber into veritable matchwood, a terrific tornado hit Vulcan and district last night at about eight o'clock. The storm swept into Vulcan where hundreds of visitors were about to leave for home after attending Vulcan's postponed Jubilee celebration.
Vulcan's municipal skating and curling rink suffered approximately $4,000 damage when the curling annex and part of the roof of the main rink was torn away and hurled high in the air and carried over the street. The roof of ROY FERGUSON'S livery barn was blown in, and the rear wall of the Chevrolet garage was torn out. Mayor BUTCHART'S car was carried 100 yards through the air.
Up to a late hour tonight no loss of lives or casualties have been reported. Telephone communication in the rural district is completely cut off and many friends and relatives of those who had started for home after the celebration are frantic with anxiety over their safe arrival.
Coming from the west the storm looked like a thunder shower with hail brought about by the intense heat which prevailed during the day. At seven o'clock rain fell accompanied by hail. There appeared to be little wind with the hail at that time. Hail fell intermittently. The stones were small at first and fradually became larger. Little damage to crops however, will result as near as could be learned tonight.
The tornado gave the people warning as it could be seen approaching for 15 minutes. It appeared like a huge funnel and looked to be not over half a mile wide. Many windows were broken and fences and outbuildings blown down.
MR. C. A. RUSSELL, auto dealer of Calgary, and D. M. PURDY of Vulcan, driving in a new Volverine car, narrowly escaped death when driving in the wake of the storm adjacent to the skating rink. Amid shattered debris of the rink which was falling on the car, MR. PURDY drove the car until an electric light pole carrying high voltage was buried on the front end. Wires were down and wound around the car so that it was impossible to go farther. Little damage was done to the car, and the occupants were unharmed.
The curling rink was completely demolished. Practically the whole west side of the building and the roof was torn off. The wind took a portion of the roof off the skating rink. Lumber and huge pieces of the building were blown over to the next block. A piece of debris hit the residence of C. KETTLESON and damaged the roof slightly and the plaster of the walls on the inside.
ROY FERGUSON'S livery barn suffered considerable damage. The large roof was flattened and part of the side torn out. The west wall of the tile constructed shop in the rear of A. L. BURROWS' garage was blown out and tile hurled throughout the garage. The large door on the south side of the building was open at the time.
The trunk telephone line leading out of town to the south and west is down. The poles carry five crossbars. Nearly a quarter of a mile of this line is down and a crew of men are already on the job. The Vulcan Light and Power Company pole line was damaged in the district adjacent to the rink. Poles carrying transformers were broken off and wires strewn over the streets.
The storm was at its height when it took the barn and dairy on J. D. MONTGOMERY'S farm southwest of town. MR. MONTGOMERY was on the road from town and drove frantically home before the storm hit. He had stopped the car near the barn and rushed MRS. MONTGOMERY and small son into a root cellar where they took refuge. Thirty of MR. MONTGOMERY'S dairy herd were in the barn when the storm, which swept to the south of the farm, suddenly turned and came from the east. All of the cattle except two were able to get out of the barn. The remaining two happened to be tied, and when the storm had passed were standing unharmed on the naked concrete floor.
The building was hurled two hundred feet in the air and shattered to splinters. Debris was strewn over a 100 acre field and many pieces were driven into the ground. One board was hurled through the side of the dwelling house, which was only slightly damaged. Other splinters of wood were driven into the wall on the north side of the dwelling. Shingles were torn from the roof of the house, leaving the roof intact. MR. MONTGOMERY, who operates a dairy in Vulcan, suffered a heavy loss to his dairying equipment. The building was completely destroyed and the machinery and supplies are almost a total loss.
Eye witnesses to the fury of the storm report a freakish nature of the tornado when they viewed one of HARRY ADAMS' granaries being lifted intact 200 feet high and then as if an explosion took place, the building suddenly shattered to a thousand pieces.
Full details of the storm will not be learned until communication has been restored. Other reports are that the farm buildings on H. W. JOHNSTON'S farm were damaged. A considerable amount of farm machinery destroyed. The roof of the barn was torn loose from its bearings although it remained on the barn. A separator was given a ride into a field and left 200 yards away.
The district in the wake of the storm is thickly settled and further damage will probably be reported tomorrow.
As far as can be learned tonight, damage to crops from hail has not been reported in the district southwest of town. The storm swept east and no hail damage was reported from as far east as Arrowwood.
Considering the fury of the storm it is a miracle that the residents in this district escaped unharmed.

VULCAN LOSS IS VERY LIGHT.
Vulcan, July 9. -- In checking over the damage done by the cyclone here last night it appears that the town escaped rather fortunately, $10,000 being a fair estimate of the property destruction here.
Reports from the district this morning indicate that the hail damage was practically negligible although in the case of JOHN ROLL who farms about four miles N.E. of town, the crop was considerably damaged by the wind. ROLL'S barn and several outbuildings were demolished by the storm.
The heaviest individual loss was suffered by J. M. JOHNSON whose farm received the full force of the twister. His property loss, including much damaged machinery will probably amount to $10,000. MR. JOHNSON'S farm is some distance from Vulcan.
Workmen are busy this morning repairing power and telephone lines wrecked by the storm.

The Lethbridge Herald Alberta 1927-07-09