Fond du Lac, WI Storm, May 1912


Three Hundred Phones Crippled by Lightning


Schools Are Closed When Basements Are Flooded – Merrymakers Caught in Downpour.

According to E. A. SEELEY, local weather observer, the government gauge showed a precipitation between 9 o'clock Sunday morning and at noon today of 2.57 inches. The rainfall from 9 a. m. to 3 p. m. Sunday was .84 of an inch. Between 3 p. m. Sunday and 12 noon today the precipitation was 1.73 inches.

One of the most severe thunderstorms to visit the city this season occupied public attention for a greater part of Sunday night. Three hundred telephones of the Wisconsin Telephone company were put out of commission by lightning through the burning out of the carbons in the protectors. Toll lines were affected in a similar way and as a result it was almost impossible to obtain communication with outlying districts until late today, when the damage was repaired.

Lightning Starts Fires.
A number of fires resulted from the discharge of electricity, the church on the Ridge road near Eldorado being destroyed, also a barn on a farm near Rosendale. The instruments in the dispatchers' office at both the Soo and North Western division headquarters were put out of commission when the lightning burned the wires out.

Schools Are Flooded.
The great amount of water which fell during the storm caused many flooded basements throughout the city. Oil heaters were in demand in homes where the steam, hot water and hot air heating apparatus were put out of operation by the flood water.

The public schools were hard hit. It being necessary to close McKinley and Washington schools for the day because of the water in the basements reaching the fire boxes of the heating plants. First Street school, where the furnace pit was flooded, was also closed.

Many Gowns Are Ruined.
The storm swept upon the city almost without warning. While it had been raining hard all day, the atmosphere cleared in the evening and many people took occasion to visit the vaudeville and moving picture theaters. The theaters were packed when the storm struck and as it continued unabated until past midnight, hundreds were soaked in their homeward journey. Spring hats, gowns and suits were converted into shapeless water-soaked affairs by the downpour.

The Daily Commonwealth Fond Du Lac Wisconsin 1912-05-20