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Allegany County, New York - Wicked Weather


One of the Episodes of a Cyclone in Allegany County, N.Y.

Richburg, N.Y., July 13.--When the cyclone that passed over this portion of Allegany county a few days since struck the farm of Alonzo Mead, on the West Notch road, in the town of Wirt, Mrs. Mead was preparing a codfish for cooking.  A tin dipper stood on the table, and on a nail in the wall hung a pair of hickory overalls.  Mr. Mead was standing in his bard door, talking with Farmer Wightman, a neighbor, who had driven into his barn with his wife to wait until the shower they supposed was coming up had passed over.  Suddenly there came a loud roaring form the direction of Southwest hill, and Mr. Mead saw first a grove of large maples coming towards the barn and house in the air, carried along by what seemed to be a funnel-shaped cloud of black smoke.  A half second later nearly all the trees in Mead's orchard had mingled with the flying maple grove and all were rushing along at frightful velocity.  Mead started to run to the house to warn his wife.  He was caught up on his way by the whirling mass and carried with it a hundred yards and deposited in a rye field. Simultaneously the house and barn were lifted up and carried along in crashing fragments with the whirl-wind.

The passing of the cyclone was but momentary.  Not more than five seconds elapsed from the time it was first seen sweeping down from the Southwest hill by Mead until it had disappeared in the northeast.  Mead was uninjured by his sudden journey through the air, and as soon as he could recover himself he ran toward the ruins of his house, expecting to find his wife crushed to death or borne away.  Only a small portion of the house was left standing.  Mrs. Mead was in the cellar, where she had hurried at the approach of the hurricane, and was uninjured.  Mead found Wightman and his wife imprisoned by heavy timbers in the barn.  A pile of hay had caught the timbers at the end, and prevented them falling with full weight on the farmer and his wife.

Every piece of furniture was carried out of Mead's house.  Fragments of it had been found along the course of the cyclone as far as a mile away.  Wednesday parties who were searching in the woods for missing cattle three miles from Mead's farm, found hanging in a tree a codfish and a pair of hickory overalls, and lying on the ground beneath the tree was a tin dipper.  These had been identified as the fish Mrs. Mead was preparing when the cyclone came along, the dipper that stood on the table, and the garment that hung on the wall.

[Source: Boston Daily Globe, July 14, 1884, p. 4]

Gale - Cuba, New York

Gale. Quite a heavy gale passed over our village on Monday, unroofing one barn and tearing shade-trees to quite an extent. The wind is getting to be quite unruly of late. [Source: Cuba True Patriot, VOL IV, NO 52, June 29, 1866]

Cyclone Hits Shongo (Willing)

Upon Sunday evening, September 24, 1884, Shongo was visited by one of the most terrific cyclones that ever visited the county and perhaps state.  Three persons were killed and 22 wounded, which comprised almost every person who passed through the terrible storm.  Everything that came within its scope was destroyed, while buildings upon its borders were torn from their foundations and drawn in towards the terrible vortex.  the track of the cyclone was less than 40 rods wide and in this track stood 26 buildings, every one of them was literally torn into splinters, and nearly all were carried away by the wind, lodging in some instances as far as 18 miles in Steuben county, with portions of them scattered upon the fields along its zigzag course through the whole distance in the higher current of air.  So fierce was the wind that the village cemetery was not even spared. The Wellsville Daily Reporter of Sept. 29, 1884, says that but two tombstone were left standing in the cemetery some being carried across the street.  An iron potash kettle holding 60 gallons was carried 40 rods and lodged bottom side up in an open field; a heavy lumber wagon was taken in the air and hurled against the adjacent hillside and smashed to kindling wood.  The killed were Willis Gardiner, Mrs. Edgar Pratt and Ann Lancaster, all full grown and active people. Some of the injured are cripples for life.  The little village nestles closely between the rugged hills of the upper Genesee river and is nicely protected from fierce winds, but the cyclone seemed to descend from the clouds, strike this small portion of earth and again rise and be no more heard of.  It has been a matter of comment that no more people were killed outright of those caught in the whirlpool.  Two stores together with their stocks of goods vanished in the air, blacksmith and wagon shops, the village schoolhouse, fine residences, barns and all connected with them disappeared as by magic.  The wind struck the earth at exactly 6:20 p.m. and was all past in less than two minutes.  Some of the injured were not found until the next day.  [Source: Allegany County and Its People. A Centennial Memorial History of Allegany County, New York., by John S. Minard, 1896, p. 545

Mr. L. L. Scott, of New Hudson, was struck by lightning on Monday afternoon of last week, tearing the shirt upon his arm, and lacerating the skin to the elbow the fluid passed down his leg and tore the sole of his boot off.  His dog lying at his feet was instantly killed.   Mr. Scott and his dog were under a tree at the time.  Mr. Scott was rendered insensible for some time, but at last accounts was slowly recovering.  It was a close call. - Patriot. [The Friendship Chronicle, Vol. 1, Number 15, May 19, 1880]

The liberty pole at Caneadea was destroyed by lightning on Monday of last week. [The Friendship Chronicle, Vol. 1, Number 15, May 19, 1880]

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