Miami, FL Tornado, Apr 1917
DAMAGE WROUGHT BY STORM OF YESTERDAY
Houses Are Unroofed, a School Building Razed and Large Trees Uprooted
FREAKS OF LIGHTNING
No Injuries Reported, But Property Waste Serious - Deluge Has Its Benefits
A tornado of considerable intensity, accompanied by a heavy downpour of rain and hail, swept across the northern part of Miami from the southwest yesterday afternoon at 1:15 and disappeared in the Atlantic ocean after doing a considerable amount of damage in the fruit growing territory west of Miami, in the city, and at Miami Beach.
The hail stones were the largest ever seen here and came with great force and in places covered the ground. Much damage to crops was done by the hail, but it is thought the rain, which was badly needed in some localities, will, because of its beneficial effects, offset the damage done by the hail.
Houses were unroofed and in some instances blown down by the tornado, and many large fruit trees were uprooted, and pine trees blown to the ground and across the highways at some points.
A number of narrow escapes are told of by persons who were in the path of the tornado and consequently in the way of flying timbers, boards and limbs and branches from trees.
In Miami the rainfall was so excessive that the stores on Twelfth street near the intersection with avenue D, which always experience the ill effects of heavy downpours before others, were in some instances flooded with water that backed up into the doors.
The Miami Beef company, Miami grocery store, Hill Brothers and east as far as Seybold's, and across the street, for a time were marooned, and in some the water rushed into the front door and out the back.
Wood block paving buckled all along Twelfth street from in front of the McCrory five and ten cent store as far west as the court house, and on other streets paved with this material.
At the weather bureau a precipitation for the twenty-four hours of 3.22 inches was recorded, but as the weather bureau was not in the path of the tornado the full velocity of the wind was not recorded there.
The hail did much damage to growing things in various localities. James Bright declared that a field of beans just ready to pick looked as though a steam roller had passed over them, and each bean was cut and bruised and useless. A field of corn also was beaten to the ground, but Mr. Bright thought the corn would recover.
Path of Tornado.
R. H. Hull, who lives five miles west of Miami, told a reporter for The Herald of observing the tornado as it swept from across the Everglades to the pine land out on West Twentieth street some nine miles west of Miami at 1 o'clock.
Mr. Hull said the wind tore the roofs from three houses eight miles west of Miami, and Everglade school house, seven miles out, was totally destroyed. The fifteen pupils had just gone home.
The next damage noted was at Lewis Geiger's grove, where 100 fifteen-year-old grapefruit trees were uprooted, and all the fruit from them and other trees was blown off. One tree was lifted bodily and carried a considerable distance and deposited on top of a stone fence with its roots waving in the air and the branches serving as a support to brace it in this topsy-turvy position.
The tornado struck the S. A. Belcher place five miles out on Twelfth street extension, and the roof was lifted from the residence and the top from a house in the yard where a Negro family lives. No one was hurt.
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