Louisville, KY Tornado, Mar 1890 - 2500 Houses Demolished



The Loss in Property Estimated at a Million Dollars

Incidents of the Louisville Cyclone.
Special to the Journal.

Louisville, Ky., March 28.--Shortly after 9:00 last night a tornado swept over this city, wrecking two to three thousand houses and killing at least 600 people.
The tornado entered the southeastern portion of the city at Eighteenth street, and swept a path five blocks wide diagonally, reaching in a ragged line to Seventh street, levelling [sic] every building in its path, probably 2,500 houses. A rough estimate put the killed at 500, with thousands injured.

The city is filled with a crazed mass of people, wildly seeking their friends. A large force of men are at work on the ruins, and 100 bodies have been recovered.

All buildings on Main street, from Eighth to Fourteenth, are in ruins, not one of the handsome wholesale houses are left, and all the tobacco warehouses are swept away. On Market street Fall's City Hall, a four-story building, was blown, down while several Masonic and Knights of Honor Lodges were in session, and 100 men and women were
buried in the ruins.

Many buildings, after falling, caught fire and the inmates were burned. All streets are blockaded with the debris of the fallen buildings, or by telegraph and electric light wires.

Thirty-five persons, mostly women and children, have been taken from the ruins of Fall's City Hall.

Every building, tree and telegraph pole in the district struck was leveled. The cyclone was predicted by the Signal Service Thursday afternoon, but no heed was paid to the warning.

The cyclone came with scarce a warning sound, and in all the buildings struck the inhabitants were engaged in their usual vocations. The district laid waste comprises an area three miles long and nearly half a mile wide.

As the night closed in, with the band of rescuers still continuing work, they seemed to work more silently, though no less arduously. The advantages of light and its fear-dispelling qualities are denied them, for all the electric wires were torn down by the storm. It grows so dark in the shadows of the crumbling walls that every object with a semblance of a human form must be grasped to prove it flesh or stone.

People are still learning of missing members. Their families and mothers and fathers stand wildly gazing on the ruins and crying on the Almighty to deliver them at least their dead. The streets are thronged with multitudes of sorrowing people, and there are at least an hundred families homeless in the streets that were happy yesterday in possession of their homes.

One poor woman, between horrified sobs, told how that very evening her husband had paid to the Building Association the last dollar they owed upon their house, and now all that remains is a confused mass of brick and mortar.

There are many parallel cases.

Hundred of thousands of dollars' worth of goods lay last night upon the business streets at the mercy of thieves, it being impossible to find storehouses. At many places there are towering walls of brick oscillating in the air ready to descend at any moment. These points of danger are guarded by the police and a military company.