Socorro, TX Devastation, Aug 1895

-- Terrible Loss of Life and Property at Socorro

Tuesday evening, about four o'clock, a cloud burst a few miles west of Socorro and a few minutes later a large volume of water about a mile wide and in some places twenty feet deep swept through the city of Socorro. The main current passed through the southern suburbs of the town about two blocks south of the court house. Along this line many houses were totally destroyed, while hundreds are greatly damaged. People had to flee for their lives. Through the business portion of the town the water was about two feet deep. The valley below town is under water, and it is feared many lives have been lost down in the bottom lands. The destruction of the farming and fruit lands is complete.

At the time when the excitement was highest, and the danger greatest, and many people were fleeing panic stricken, thinking only of themselves, great bravery was shown by some of the men, who plunged heroically into the raging waters to rescue those in danger of drowning. While they were unsparing in their efforts, yet some lives were unfortunately lost.

The names of those drowned in town, and whose bodies have been recovered are as follows:
Leandro Duran is the grandfather, the others grandchildren, all of one family. They rushed out of the house thinking thus to save themselves, but were caught in a large wave and swept away. Two of the bodies were recovered in the evening, the other four the next morning. Wednesday afternoon it was reported in Socorro that another body had been found in the bosque, but could not be reached.

The loss of property is variously estimated at from $500,000 to $1,000,000. This is a terrible record; no value can be put upon the loss of lives – for they are above price.

Friday, August 6, 1895