Various Towns, PA Tornado and Storm Damage, July 1853


Doleful accounts of the damage by the late tornado continue to come in. In Berks County, great destruction was done in Lower Heidelberg, Spring, Cumrie, Exeter, Union, Amity, and other of the lower townships; barns, dwellings, mills, and all kinds of houses being unroofed and otherwise injured, crops beaten down, &c. At Orangeville, Columbia County, a bridge over Green Creek was lifted from its abutments, and thrown down in fragments; the gable end of the Methodist Church was burst out; whole fields of wheat were beaten to the ground, fences scattered, trees uprooted and borne off, &c. At Sunbury, the track of the storm was about a mile in width, and the hailstones flew in numbers and enormous in size, some measuring 18 inches in circumference. In Northumberland, every exposed pane of glass was broken, crops were ruined, and in one case the leather top of a buggy was beaten in holes, some as large as the crown of a hat. The hailstones were all large. Trees were torn up bodily, and buildings stripped of roof and easements. The loss of some of the farmers is very heavy, one establishment suffering to the amount of $2,000, another $1,000, and so on.

The New York Times New York 1853-07-13