Chicago, IL Storm, May 1909

MUCH DAMAGE BY HEAVY STORM

RAIN, HAIL AND TORNADOES IN ILLINOIS, MISSOURI AND IOWA

CHICAGO HIT HARDEST

HOUSES BLOWN DOWN, CARS STOPPED, AUTOMOBILE STRUCK BY LIGHTNING.

Chicago – A squall with wind blowing forty-five miles an hour and rain falling in torrents, struck Chicago at 6:15 o'clock Thursday night. Wires went down in every direction and communication with other cities was completely severed.

The center of the storm was on the South Side of the city. Here three laborers were killed and several more were injured when the roof of the Grand Crossing Tack Company's plant was blown off.

A cottage at Seventy-ninth street and Ellis avenue was blown down and it was reported to the police that two men were killed and a woman and a child injured.

Telephone and telegraph wires were cut down on all sides of the city. It was the most complete prostration of wire service in twelve years. The Western Union reported that all its wires were cut off as though by a flash of lightning. Communications with the East was established slowly and by circuitous routes.

Traffic was impeded on surface and elevated lines and suburban trains were delayed.

MRS. MATILDA JOHNSON was standing in the front door of her residence on Ellis avenue watching the effect of the storm when the wind took the roof from her house and the building collapsed. She was dug out by the police badly injured.

MISS ELEANOR RICHARDSON, a seventeen year old girl, was trying to hold an umbrella over her head while crossing North Clark street, when she was struck by a street car and fatally injured.

Twenty-five houses were blown down or damaged by the storm in Blue Island, a southwestern suburb. For more than a mile along the main street there the roofs of the houses were torn off and windows broken.
More than fifty houses were unroofed in Grand Crossing.

The Hyde Park police automobile patrol was struck by lightning while on a run and was burned.

Citizens of Morgan Park, another suburb, were forced to flee to the cellars of their homes. The roofs were torn off many houses. The lights went out and the floods came to add to the terrors of the night.
At Peoria a windstorm unroofed the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy freight house, damaged the union depot and did much other damage. C. CORAN, a switchman, was severely injured. On the farms surrounding Peoria thousands of dollars damage was done to orchards and property.
Reports received at St. Louis tell of much damage from hail, rain and wind in eastern Missouri and southern Illinois. Many windows were broken at Lamar and Rolla, Mo., and it is reported the hailstones were of enormous size.

Steamboat Pilot Colorado 1909-05-19