Peoria, IL Storm, Jun 1902

Peoria Suffers Heavy Property Loss--Lineman Killed

Peoria, Ill., June 11--The double storm that struck Peoria at 10 o'clock last night and again at 2 o'clock this morning was the worst central Illinois has experienced since 1843. Rain fell in torrents and the damage caused by the high winds is inestimable at this time.

Lineman Killed

GEORGE REARDAN, a lineman employed by the electric light company, was instantly killed this morning while repairing the storm damage at Glen Oak Park. He was caught by a live wire and died instantly. GEORGE ASHLOCK, another lineman, was seriously burned in attempting to extricate Reardan from the wire.

The Peoria & Pekin Union round house was blown down shortly after 10 o'clock. In it at the time were eight men, and all escaped without serious injury, but SAMUEL SPENCE, an Iowa Central engineer, who was caught by the falling walls, receiving serious injuries to his back. He is now at the Cottage Hospital and is in a very serious condition. Thirteen locomotives, two owned by the Illinois Central, two by the Iowa Central, four by the Toledo, Peoria & Warsaw and five by the Big Four, were almost totally wrecked.

The Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific train which left this city at 11:25 o'clock last night for Chicago ran into a washout just above the city. The engine is buried in sand and mud and the baggage car turned over. ROBERT ATKINSON, the engineer, was the only person injured.

The roof of the new warehouse at the Corning & Co. Distillery was blown off, as was also that of the Clark Distillery. The roof of the Harned & Von Maur dry goods store was blown off and damage to the stock of $25,000 was occasioned by water. There was no insurance. Schipper & Block lost considerable on account of water.

People Rescued In Boats

Shortly after 11 o'clock a report reached police that people living in Dry Run, on the Bluff, were in danger of drowning as they had been caught by the flood. Row boats were hauled to the scene at once and the police took twelve people from their homes. They were standing on pianos with the water almost to their necks. Within another hour all would have been lost.

All communication with the outside world was destroyed for over twelve hours and it was almost noon today when a wire was secured between Peoria and Chicago and St. Louis. All street car service was stopped and the fire alarm system was completely knocked out.

A tug boat and a steam launch which have been plying on the river at this point have disappeared since the first storm and it is believed they are now at the bottom of Peoria lake. Their pilots have not been seen since.

Factories throughout the city are completely crippled, as almost every smokestack is down. The stack of the Central railway company, 150 feet in height, was blown down, falling on the roof of the Rhea-Theilans warehouse, damaging it to the extent of $2,000. The entire street railway system was put out of business for several hours, but at noon today operations was partially resumed.

Des Moines Daily Leader, Des Moines, IA 12 Jun 1902

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Peoria Reports Many Killed
Train Caught In Landslide and Buried In Mud

Peoria, Ill., June 11--The storm at Peoria was very destructive. Many lives were lost, the property damage extensive and the mercantile loss will be hundreds of thousands of dollars.

A Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific passenger was caught in a landslide and the engine and mail car were buried in the mud.

Serious damage was done to shipping on the river, and all train service is crippled.

One man was killed this morning by live wires and two other injured.

All lines entering the city are heavy losers.

The Daily Review, Decatur, IL 11 Jun 1902

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Damage At Peoria
Reached Into Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars

Peoria, Ill., June 12.--This city was a heavy loser from the storm of Tuesday night. The damage here will reach will reach hundreds of thousands of dollars, extending from one end of the city to the other.

Two storms struck here, the first at 10:30 and the second shortly before 2 o'clock. There was a terrific rainfall, which flooded cellars and the first floors of buildings, while the wind unroofed buildings and badly damaged others.

A large portion of the Peoria and Pekin Union round house was blown down, burying about a score of men and eighteen engines. All of the men succeeded in extricating themselves except SAMUEL SPENCE, who was considerably injured. The others were badly bruised and their escapes were little short of miraculous.

Harned & Vonmaur sustained $25,000 damage by the unroofing (sic) of their building, and Schipper & Block $5,000 by the blowing in of plate glass windows.

Shortly after 11 o'clock Tuesday night a report reached the police that people living in Dry Run, on the bluff, were in danger of drowning, as they had been caught in the flood. Rowboats were hauled to the scene at once and the police took twelve persons from their homes. They were standing on pianos with the water almost to their necks. Within an hour all would have been lost.

All communication with the outside world was destroyed for over twelve hours, and it was almost noon Wednesday when a wire was secured between Peoria and Chicago and St. Louis. All street car service was stopped and the fire-alarm system completely knocked out.

Three large dry goods houses in Peoria were on fire at the same time, after the storm, and the fire department of the city was on duty all night.

The steamer city of Peoria, out on the Illinois river with an excursion party of 500 women, was caught by the storm while in the Narrows, several miles above Peoria. The steamer's orchestra played lively music during the progress of the gale and prevented a panic. Captain SIVELY succeeded in landing the steamer safely at 2:30 Wednesday morning.

The Daily Review, Decatur, IL 11 Jun 1902