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Plaquemines Parish, LA Fierce Tornado Destruction, May 1873

A FIERCE TORNADO IN LOUISIANA -- ITS EXTRAORDINARY EFFECTS.

A corresondent of the New Orleans Picayune writes from the Parish of Plaquemines, under date of May 7, as follows:
Yesterday morning, the 6th, a terrific tornado passed over a portion of the LANAUX plantation, situated about fifty-six miles below your city, right bank.
About 5 o'clock a tremendous black cloud was seen by some of the neighbors sweeping along the face of the earth, and moving from south to north, traversing the plantation of MR. LANAUX in an oblique line and directly over the buildings, which were all swept away, except the dwellings in the house yard, which were on the upper edge of its track, they being partly damaged by the flying debris, and a row of cabins on its lower edge, which were somewhat twisted out of shape. Huge live oak and pecan trees were either uprooted or their limbs torn off, the bark was even blown off some of the trees, mill-shed blown to atoms, five or six cabins demolished, two other buildings -- one occupied as a dwelling by an old gentleman, uncle of MR. LANAUX, the other unoccupied -- were swept away.
Another, a corn-house formerly, and very strongly built, and at the time used as a Catholic church, was completely carried away, nothing remaining but the brick pillars upon which it stood; the wind seemed to have vented its fury upon it; the roof of the same was afterward found on the opposite side of the river, where it had been dropped almost uninjured, having traveled about a mile and a half through the air. Horses, mules, cattle, chickens, &c., were either killed or crippled, and I regret to say that a young white boy, about sixteen years of age, was killed outright. He was asleep at the time in one of the cabins with his younger brother. When found he was about fifty yards from where the cabin stood lying on his face, his head split open from ear to ear, left arm broken between the elbow and wrist, and badly bruised about the breast. The younger boy was found about fifty yards beyong his brother, or 100 from the cabin, badly cut in the head and arm broken; he will recover. A negro woman was also badly cut in the head and spine injured; will lose an eye and perhaps die. Strange to relate, a cistern which stood at the upper back corner of the church (it being recently put there and perfectly new) was not upset or moved in any way, but a piece of flying plank or stick, about one and a half inches wide, was driven through the cypress stave, one end, about six inches long, sticking out on the outside; how far it went through I had not the means to discover, but through it is, for the water is trickling out alongside of it in quite a stream. The priest's vestments were scattered to the four winds of heaven -- some of them are now to be seen hanging in the tree tops that were spared. The path of the tornado was about 200 yards wide, and leaving LANAUX'S it crossed the river, lifting up an immense body of water, drift wood, &c., which it dropped on the left bank, covering the earth to the depth of four feet, destroying the residence of a colored man. PHILIP EDGERTON by name, killing a young colored girl about fourteen years of age, and wounding two colored men, one severely, and then passed off into the bays behind. Have not yet heard the full particulars from the other side. Hundreds of people particulars from the other side. Hundreds of people visited the scene of devastation, and rendered all assistance in their power to the sufferers. It is impossible to conceive the irresistible force of the wind -- the wreck must be seen to be comprehended.

The New York Times New York 1873-05-14

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