Buffalo, NY Storm, Jan 1907


$1,500,000 Damage to Shipping; Wharves Wrecked.


Buffalo, N. Y., Jan. 20. - A terrific gale, which blew ninety miles an hour at times, has swept this city for eighteen hours, and has done $1,500,000 damage to shipping.

Five large lake liners, winterized just inside the breakwater wall, were torn loose from their moorings and driven aground. The gale still rages, and no aid can be given to the endangered vessels. They are believed to be resting on soft bottom and, unless the gale becomes worse, will probably not suffer more damage.

The vessels aground are the Hurlburt W. Smith, William Nottingham, J. Q. Riddle, Monroe C. Smith and A. C. Brower. Most of them are owned in Cleveland. They have cargoes.

Caretakers were aboard, but are believed to be safe.

Gale Sweeps the Harbor.
For hours the gale swept the water front, tearing everything that stood in its path. Docks and wharves were wrecked and carried away, craft broken from their moorings and smashed against bridges, doing serious damage. Smokestacks and buildings of lighter construction were blown down like paper boxes, but so far no casualties have been reported.
The water in Lake Erie rose three feet in as many minutes. The inner breakwalls have been pounded until parts of them have been broken away. Railroads having tracks along the water fronts are holding them down with strings of freight cars. The city has had telephone and telegraph communications with the principal cities most of the day, and much of the trouble is being remedied. The brunt of the storm seems to be west of Buffalo.

Snowstorm Accompanies.
Railroad service in and out of the city has been badly disarranged. The gale brought with it a blinding snowstorm.
The fleet that was anchored at the breakwalls consists of about eighteen large lake liners. When they started coming ashore in the height of the storm, about noon today, vessel men were prepared to see the whole fleet beached, but thirteen of them rode out the gale.
Old lake men say this is the severest continued storm that has swept the lower lake in the past twenty years.

The Washington Post, Washington D. C. 21 Jan 1907


Falling House Decapitated a Woman Near Buffalo.

PROPERTY LOSS of $2,000,000

Five Lake Steamers, Which Were Blown Ashore by Storm, Are Still Aground. Three Fatalities Were Caused by Collapsing Buildings - All Towns on Niagara Frontier Report Damage.

Buffalo, N. Y., Jan 21 - The hurricane which swept the Niagara frontier yesterday had subsided, and a more extended examination of the damage to shipping lowers the original estimate. In the port of Buffalo alone, however, it will be about $1,000,000.

The high waters of Lake Erie receded today, leaving some of the stranded lake liners high and dry on the sandy beaches. None of them appears to be seriously damaged but the expense of getting them afloat again will be very heavy.

The death list totals four. Three persons were killed in the collapse of buildings and another was drowned.

Mrs. HENRIETTA SOLDWICK, struck by falling debris, an eleven-year-old girl, drowned, both at Dunkirk; Mrs GARRISON, decapitated by a falling building at Farnham, and Mrs LEVINA GARRISON, struck by a falling outbuilding at Irving.

At Niagara Falls damage to the amount of $25,000 was done to the Great Gorge Railroad, while in the heart of the city buildings valued at about $25,000 were completely demolished.

Other Reports of Damage.
From every city and town along the lake front reports of great damage are received. Inland towns also suffered considerably, and it is estimated that the damage done to property in Buffalo and the immediate vicintey (sic) of this city will aggregate $2,000,000.

Of the twenty-three vessels anchored under the lee of the breakwater near the harbor entrance, five took the beach at the foot of Michigan street in yesterday's gale. The boats ashore are: Hurlburt W. Smith, William Nottingham, J. Q. Riddle, Monroe C. Smith, and A G Brower.

All the vessels are modern freighters of an average valuation of $350,000. As most of them are still laden with grain, their total valuation is not far from $12,000,000.

Savings Boats Great Task.
The Hurlburt W. Smith and the Nottingham, both high and dry on the beach, will give the wreckers a difficult job. They are so far out that it is believed the only way they can be released will be by digging trenches around them and practically relaunching the craft.

The Monroe C. Smith and A. G. Brower, valued at $275,000 each, are on sandy bottom, about five feet out. They are loaded with grain.

The Riddle, 450 feet long, is aground with her stern just south of Michigan street She is worth about $400,000. She was light, and for that reason probably suffered very much.

The other vessels were better sheltered when the gale was at its worst, but dragged their anchors from the stress of the gale, and tossed and swung to and fro for hours.

The Washington Post, Washington DC 22 Jan 1907