Buctouche, NB Tornadic Storm, Aug 1879



St. John, New Brunswick, Aug. 11. -- An extra edition of the Moniteur Acadien contains the following particulars of the great storm at Buctouche:
About 1 o'clock Wednesday afternoon the sky was covered with dark, thick clouds, and heavy thunder-claps were heard in the distance. This presaged a tempest, but nobody expected the terrific one that so frightened the peoople of North Bank. Some thick clouds plowed the sky, and two especially, enormously large and black, approached each other from opposite directions, and came into collision at Rich Cove, about two miles above St. Mary's Church. The shock was terrible, forming a waterspout conical in shape and frightful in size. The cyclone, moving toward the east, traversed several small woods, uprooting and raising everything in the course of its passage for a width of two acres. Three farm houses, with barns and stock, were scattered about the fields. After describing a circle toward the north, the waterspout fell upon a barn and completely demolished it. Advancing towards the east in a zigzag fashion, the waterspout, in the twinkle of an eye, reached Buctouche Church, where it wrought its last destruction, and then lost itself in the sea. On the river the waterspout lifted two arches from the top of the big bridge to the south of the channel and launched them a hundred paces below. The covering of the mill on the south side, and partly on the north side, was carried off, and the crown was injured. Returning to the river, the cyclone moved back to strike the convent, the church and the presbytery, and it is here especially that the ruins are enormous, and the destruction is indescribable.
The convent was considerably damaged, the church steeple was raised on one side many feet, and the church itself was otherwise considerably damaged, outside and in. The presbytery is a mere mass of ruins. The violence of the cyclone was tremendous. Houses were raised 30 feet, and dashed to pieces. At St. Mary's Church trunks of trees, poles, pieces of wood, etc., traversed the air with the rapidity of lightning. A large, heavy hay cart, that had been left near a barn at St. Mary's, was transported a quarter of a mile, and a carriage was smashed to atoms. Ricks of hay containing 20 tons nearly disappeared before the tornado. One of the gallery bences of the Bucteuche Church was carried through a window into the presbytery. The number of dead and wounded, large as it appears, is wonderfully small considering the circumstances. The number of houses destroyed is more than 80. The losses amount to fully $100,000.

Reno Evening Gazette Nevada 1879-08-21