Charleston, SC Tornado, Sept 1938

Charleston Destruction

25 DIE, 340 HURT IN CHARLESTON STORM.

MANY FAMOUS OLD LANDMARKS BLOWN DOWN BY TORNADO.

Damage Estimated At $2,000,000 As Tornado Strikes Historic City Unawares; Vast Scenes Of Wreckage; St. Michael's Church Battered; Fine Trees Uprooted in Battery; City Hall Roof Blown Off; Colleges Not Hit.

CHARLESTON, S. C., Sept. 29 – (AP) – A destructive tornado whipped through Charleston early today, killing at least 25 persons, injuring an estimated 340, and doing property damage unofficially estimated at $2,000,000.

Striking shortly after 8 a. m., the storm threw the city into confusion. Telephone and telegraph communication was disrupted.

Traffic through city streets was impeded by fallen trees and by live electric wires. The city power station failed completely.

Many historic landmarks were damaged, some severely. An undetermined number of small cabins were leveled. The number made homeless was unestimated. Most of them were Negroes.

A portion of the old city market crumpled. Several of the identified victims met death here.

Fifteen dead were identified. Hospitals were swamped in caring for the injured. And no list of the latter was available hours after the blow had passed. Their number was place at more than 300.

Soldiers and marines, by order of President Roosevelt, joined National Guardsmen in helping municipal authorities preserve order. The Red Cross offered its services.

The storm did not touch the colleges and schools of the city.

On Sullivan's Island, resort community across the harbor, a score of houses were reported blown away but no one was injured.

Federal Judge Frank K. Myers telegraphed President Roosevelt”

“During the emergency following the tornado this morning please authorize troops now assembling for protection of government property to cooperate in general patrol work with the city administration through the mayor or a committee of safety now being organized.”

Some of the victims of the storm today were identified as follows:
MRS. RUTH MEHRTENS, 26, IRVIN H. MEHRTENS, 3, MIRIAM ZEIGLER, 14, and FLOYD SINGLETARY, 9, all of 25 Market street.
AUDIE T. REDMOND, 35, 22 Pitt street.
S. L. WESTCOAT, 65, 4 Kenilworth street.
G. F. HEATHINGTON, 54, Meggett.
MARION HJ. JOSEY, 45, GRACE BELLE JOSEY, 36, MARY BELLE JOSEY, 16, WALTER FRANKLIN JOSEY, 5, and GARDENIA DRIGGERS, all of 45 State street.
BARBARA GRAHAM, 17, 7 Fludd street.
CHRISTINA OLIVER, 29 Market street.
EVA REEVES, James island.

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