Biloxi, MS Hurricane, Oct 1893


The Water Front Presents a Striking Picture of Debris.

Biloxi, Miss., October 5. - At Biloxi nothing escaped the fury of the elements. On every side could be seen the wrecks of boats, piers and bathhouses, and in many instances, the fronts of houses on the beach were totally demolished. Throughout the town great trees were uprooted, swinging signs were swept away like leaves, sheds and vehicles were tossed about like match boxes and animals of every description terribly frightened. Many of the streets are blocked with fallen trees and a mass of rubbish washed in by the sea, while the beach itself is impassible on account of the piles of wreckage visible all along the entire coast. The canning industries were completely wrecked, all the factories being either badly damaged or utterly destroyed. Much of the damage at the back bay was caused by a section of several hundred feet of railroad bridge, which was swept away at Ocean Spring, washing up against the buildings, crushed them like egg shells.

It is difficult at this time to make any intelligent estimate of the damage sustained by the loss of sloops, tuggers, small schooners, fishing boats and like craft.

Blew the Steeple Off.

Out of more than 100 boats on the front bay little and big, only three rode the storm safely, and the beach is strewn with wrecks of all descriptions. On the back bay only one or two weathered the gale. Not a single wharf is standing on either the front or back bay. The damage was not confined alone to the water front, but all through the city in every direction the effects of the storm can be seen in fallen trees, fences and in here and there a house partially unroofed. The velocity of the wind at the height of the storm must have been a least 100 miles per hour. The Baptist church steeple was blown down and the bell cracked. The breakwater, at the lighthouse, was washed away but the tower was not damaged. At Deer island, just opposite Biloxi, over forty head of cattle were drowned. When the storm came up, which was a genuine cyclone, there were many Biloxi boats in the Louisiana marsh oyster fishing and it is almost certain that a number, if not all their boats, have gone down with all on board. Of eight schooners that were known to be there on Sunday evening, three have been picked up bottom upward, mast and rigging all gone and not a soul on board. It is believed that the loss of life will not fall short of 100.

The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, GA 6 Oct 1893

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