North Berkshire, MA Wind Storm, Mar 1926

Gale Plays Havoc with Trees, Wires And Windows, Causing Heavy Damage

Blast of Hurricane Proportions Strikes North Berkshire, Damaging Buildings and Church Spires, Snapping Off Four Trees and Carrying Down Telephone, Light and Trolley Wires--Through Toll Circuits Suffer--Snow Falls in Seventh Consecutive Month.

A terrible wind storm that approached hurricane proportions whipped into Northern Berkshire late yesterday afternoon, falling at least four trees and snapping big limbs from many others, disrupting wire communication and light and power circuits, smashing plate glass windows and causing other property damage that may reach several hundreds of dollars. To cap the climax, an inch or more of snow this morning followed last evening's driving sleet, giving April the distinction of being the seventh consecutive month in which snow has fallen.

Yesterday afternoon's howling gale, which followed a day of blow and bluster, struck this section with staggering force, slinging out several localities in which to vent its greatest strength. When the worst wind had subsided and as inventory of damage was undertaken it was found that the New England Telephone and Telegraph company had approximately 100 lines, serving from 150 to 300 stations in this city out of commission along with 150 stations in Adams and 40 in Williamstown, that the North Adams Gas Light company's circuits to Williamstown and Stamford, Vt., and to the South Church street and other local districts had been subjected to intermittent interruptions and that the Berkshire Street Railway company had suffered delays ranging up to 30 minutes, due in every case to the collapse of wires under falling limbs or the weight of sleet and ice.

Trees Blown Down

Trees were blown down on River street at the corner of North Holden, near Kemps park, on Dover street, and at the "Y" on South Church street. The tops of several more trees were torn off and limbs were twisted from dozens of others, a false window was whisked from the steeple of the First Methodist Episcopal church and was hurled into the street, plate glass windows were broken and cracked at the P. D. Powers, Inc., motor salesroom on Ashland street and the Riverside Auto park building on Holden street smashed, chimneys were blown off in several different sections and small outbuildings were uprooted. A complete list of the damage was not available this morning, but it was believed that broken windows, damaged roofs and chimneys and injured trees would be found in many other localities.

Nearby Towns Hit

While Adams appeared today to have escaped the worst force of the wind, Williamstown, where several panes of window glass were broken in the high school and new grammar school buildings, felt this gale. In Stamford, Vt., limbs were torn from several trees and lighting and phone circuits were interrupted when wires were carried down. Clarksburg and Briggsville felt the blast, which felled a tree in the latter community. Reports from the Mohawk Trail indicated today that the wind had such velocity on the mountain top that persons could not stand against it, but no reports of serious property damage came from that locality, although it is understood that trees crashed down at several points on the mountain top without causing damage. Cheshire and Savoy both reported gales, but no damage last night.

Continued