Rodessa, LA Tornado, Feb 1938
20 KNOWN DEAD AND SCORES HURT WHEN TORNADO STRIKES RODESSA.
OTHER VICTIMS MAY BE FOUND.
LOUISIANA OIL TOWN IS WRECKED BY TWISTER.
Rodessa, La., Feb. 18 -- (AP) -- Twenty persons were known dead today, killed by a tornado that roared during last night's blackness into this rich Rodessa oil field town. Two additional were believed dead and scores were injured.
Unofficial estimates in the confusion attendant to the disaster placed the number dead at between 25 and 30 persons, several of whom were still unaccounted for and the injured between 60 and 100.
The tornado struck at 9:45 o'clock during heavy rains that raked adjoining portions of Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas and crashed "supply row" in the business section of Rodessa, causing an estimated $250,000 to $500,000 property damage within a space of less than five minutes.
It then bounded out toward Arkansas to the northeast, and ended up in a path across North Mississippi, causing several thousands of dollars in property damage around Water Valley.
There were no casualties at Water Valley but felled trees clogged streets, windows were blown out of residences and outhouses were levelled.
Pitiful stories were told by survivors in the Rodessa area where oil derricks and construction work were laid low and gas and oil spouted adding to the danger of fires.
Continued heavy precipitation interfered seriously with rescue work and it was with great difficulty that the injured were removed to hospitals in nearby cities, Shreveport, and Vivian, La., and Atlanta, Texas.
Early this morning Governor RICHARD W. LECHE of Louisiana sent Captain MURPHY J. RODEN, Assistant Superintendent of State Police to Rodessa to direct rescue work.
Although martial law was not declared, several scores of national guardsmen, armed, were placed about the ruins of Rodessa to protect them from sightseers and to maintain order.
Several dozen special deputies also were sworn in to aid in the relief under direction of the Red Cross.
Continued rains and sloppy conditions made the clearing up of debris a slow process after oil trucks had hauled away the dead and injured in sight.
Bodies of several persons were terribly mangled and twisted into portions of metal roof, shattered building materials and debris in general.
The tornado cut a half mile path through the town and blew down a half dozen derricks. Rescuers unable to penetrate east of the railroad tracks said they feared a group of cabins there had been struck.
LIST OF VICTIMS.
Rodessa, La., Feb. 18. -- (AP) -- This tornado stricken oil town counted its dead at 22 today as relief workers, hampered by a hard rain, searched the shambles for more victims.
Twenty-two persons were known dead as a result of the devastating storm that struck without warning at 9:45 o'clock last night. A definite count of the injured would not be obtained but it was estimated that it will run above 100. Eighteen injured are in Shreveport hospitals. Some of the dead have not been identified.
The property damage was estimated from $250,000 to $500,000.
The dead, according to a check of Shreveport funeral homes by the Shreveport Journal:
MRS. BESSIE TREVILLAN, 30.
PATRICIA BESS TRAVILLAN, 4.
MRS. CLARK, 30.
LAURA LEE CLARK.
Other dead reported at Shreveport were:
L. B. SOMERFIELD.
SOMERFIELD girl aged 3.
Unidentified man, 30.
JAMES HADDOCK, 45.
The injured at Ellington Memorial Hospital:
FRANK PERRY, 8, cuts and bruises.
BEATRICE PERRY, 17, internal injuries.
MRS. C. M. PERRY, 50, fractured shoulder.
MRS. G. M. RICHARDS, 30, shock.
BOBBY EUGENE RICHARDS, 8, head wounds and bruises.
ALBERT FULLER, 13, lacerations about the head.
GWENDOLYN FULLER, 15, lacerations about the head.
MRS. INEZ RIGGS, 34, Mt. Pleasant, Texas, cuts and bruises.
MRS. GERTRUDE FULLER, 24, internal injuries.
Rodessa, La., Feb. 18. -- (AP) -- SAM GOLDMAN, chairman of the Caddo parish chapter of the American Red Cross, issued the following list of casualties in the storm here.
MRS. JAMES DAVIS.
L. E. HADDOCK.
MRS. L. E. HADDOCK.
MRS. BERNICE BLACKWELL.
W. D. CROWDER.
MRS. W. D. CROWDER.
Unidentified White Man.
MRS. T. TREVILLION.
MRS. W. L. YOUNG, and her young son.
MRS. ROBERT JACKSON.
C. W. THOMAS.
MRS. C. M. TERRY.
MRS. INEZ RIGGS.
BOBBY EUGENE RICHARDS.
MRS. D. M. RICHARDS.
Denton Record Chronicle Texas 1938-02-18