20th Century, Environment, History, Intercession, Minnesota, Natural Disaster

Tornado Kills 36 in Tyler

tyler_minn_tornado_8-21-1918_tn

Aug 21, 1918
A storm took thirty-six lives and destroyed the Tyler business district.*

The following copy is directly from a local newspaper the day after the storm.
“TORNADO KILLS 35, INJURIES OVER 100
Tyler, Minnesota, Torn to Pieces; Property Loss a Million
Brave Nurse Loses Her Life Attempting to Save Patient
TYLER, Minn., Aug. 22.—-Between thirty and thirty-five persons were killed and more than 100 were injured by the tornado which struck Tyler about 10 o’clock last night and tore the town to pieces in a twinkling. Twenty-seven bodies have been identified.
The tornado tore through the heart of the town, sparing only one building, a motion picture theatre, in which 200 persons were sheltered. The greatest loss of life was in a restaurant. Eighteen persons’ were in the place when the brick walls collapsed. Sixteen were killed, and the other two were seriously injured.
Persons engaged in rescue work said that 125 injured victims was a conservative estimate. In addition to the business places, forty residences, the hospital, electric light plant and other buildings were destroyed. The storm raged until 11:25 P.M. and dozens of victims were pinned under debris for two or three hours, before rescued.
The tornado roared into the city from the east. Roofs were ripped from stores and houses, crashing glass whistled through the streets and falling walls re-echoed to thunder crashes before many residents realized what happened.
Destruction of the electric plant with the first shock of the storm plunged the city into darkness. It was not until early this morning that citizens were able to notify adjoining towns of the devastation.
Three of five patients in the Tyler hospital were killed when the building was destroyed. Miss Rose Nelson, head nurse, made an effort to save one of the patients and lost her life. There were eight persons in the building; only two escaped injury.
Home guardsmen from Pipestone arrived here this morning and assisted in the rescue work. Many of the injured were removed to hospitals in neighboring cities. Physicians said they feared a number of the victims would not survive.
Reports that the tornado destroyed the Northwestern Station and a passenger train later proved untrue. The storm, however, wrecked the roundhouse nearby.
It was estimated the property loss would be one million dollars at least.
Tyler is a town of 1100 inhabitants in the southwestern part of Minnesota.
Governor Sends Aid”**

This story reminds me of the era of the prophet Nahum, and the kindness and sternness of G-d in the captivity of the Northern Kingdom of Israel ca. (722-721BC) Those that oppose His people in separation and tyranny will ultimately fall. He alone is Sovereign.

“The Lord is a jealous and avenging G-d; the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The Lord takes vengeance on his foes and maintains his wrath against his enemies. The Lord is slow to anger and great in power;the Lord will not leave the guilt unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.” Nahum 1:2-3

Lord, we may fail to see Your purposes in such a devastating storm, but we acknowledge that You alone are Sovereign and Just. Will You forgive those of our State who judged You for this tornado? Will You forgive our present imbalanced judgements of You? We think of You as loving and miss Your justice, or we think of You as just and miss Your kindness. May we turn to You first in times of great natural disaster. May we trust that You are for us, and not against us. Amen.

* P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org, is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!

** http://www.gendisasters.com/minnesota/3395/tyler,-mn-tornado,-aug-1918?page=0,0

 

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20th Century, Architecture, Environment, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Natural Disaster, Transportation, Weather

High Bridge Blown Down

Unknown

Aug 20, 1904
A tornado traveling through Waconia, Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and Stillwater leaves fourteen people dead and causes property losses of $1.5 million. The same storm blows down the High Bridge in Saint Paul, where winds reach 110 miles per hour, the fastest recorded wind speed in the metropolitan area at the time. The storm also has the lowest measured barometric pressure (23 inches) of any tornado, according to Snowden Dwight Flora, author of Tornadoes of the United States.*

Every decision has a consequence. As the ancient prophet Hosea once said, ‘those who sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind’. But how did regular citizens of these cities ‘sow the wind’? Did they, or was this storm just a normal occurrence that is necessary to the health of the atmosphere and environment?
This I know of human nature, when tragedy strikes, many will attempt to deflect the awfulness of the event through blame. We don’t have the inner mechanisms to deal with great pain, and so we often try to externalize it. Psychologists call this process transference.

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Lord, what were the objects of transference in this event? Let me start with how we blame You, after all, this is an ‘act of God’. Will You forgive any residents of Waconia, St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Stillwater who placed the blame for this event on You? Will You forgive any judgments made on Your character? Will You forgive those who viewed this storm as an offense against them in person and property, and in turn held a grudge against you?
Lord, we blame others! For example, “The High Bridge wouldn’t fall if it was designed better? The engineers and architects are to blame!” For the folks of these cities that fall into this category; will You forgive them those judgments of others?
Will You forgive our bifurcated motives? On one hand we love technology. We love what is new, innovative, and ground-breaking. Simultaneously, we cling to the familiar, and many of us have deep-rooted skepticism of new ideas. Will You forgive the judgments made of those who offer us new ideas? Will You forgive the wrath felt by those who dreamt, designed, labored, and finished this High Bridge?
Will You forgive those who blamed themselves for this hardship? We place ourselves on trial in the courts of minds and give harsh sentences for imperfections. Will You forgive those who blamed themselves for lost crops, fallen barns, loss of horses and animals, and loss of human life?
Lord, You are just. You are truly the only right judge because You know our heart, our history, our thoughts, our motives, and our actions. Yet, You are merciful to us, and often reveal the fragility of our inner life and its immaturity in the most gentle and gracious way possible.
You are a good dad. We do not criticize our toddlers when they make a bridge with blocks and it crashes. We praise them, and encourage their imaginations. Will You make us a people that loves valiant failures and Pyrrhic victories as much as you do?

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org, is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!

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19th Century, Catholic, Health, History, Intercession, Jesus, Medicine, Minnesota, Natural Disaster

St. Mary’s Hospital Established

unknown

Oct 1, 1889
In 1883 a tornado swept through Rochester, killing thirty-one. Mother Alfred Moes and the Sisters of St. Francis converted their school into an emergency hospital, with Dr. William Mayo supervising.*

Below, is an amplification of this history in terms of modern meteorology.

“During the late afternoon and evening of August 21, 1883, three significant tornadoes (two F3s and one F5) occurred in southeast Minnesota.  These tornadoes affected parts of Dodge, Olmsted, and Winona counties, and they accounted for 40 fatalities and over 200 injuries.
The first tornado touched down around 330 PM about 10 miles south of Rochester near Pleasant Grove (Olmsted County).  This tornado moved northeast for approximately 3 miles and it caused damage on four farms.  One of these farms was completely destroyed.  Other than this, few other details are known about this tornado.  It killed 2 people and injured another ten people.  This tornado was estimated by Thomas P. Grazulis to be a F3 tornado.  Damage was estimated to be $2,000 (in 2007 dollars this would be $42,000).
The second tornado touched down 4 miles northwest of Hayfield (Dodge County) around 6:30 PM.  At least 10 to 40 farms hit Dodge County were leveled.  The massive tornado then moved northeast through northern Rochester.  The enormous roar was said to have warned most Rochester residents.  Over 135 homes were destroyed and another 200 were damaged.  The tornado also derailed a train near Zumbrota Junction.  The mile wide tornado then began to move east again as it moved through rural eastern Olmsted County.  It leveled several farmsteads before dissipating 10 miles east of Rochester.  The tornado killed 37 people and injured 200 others.  Many of the injuries were very serious and other deaths probably occurred, but they are not listed in this total.  This tornado was on the ground for 25 miles and it was estimated by Thomas P. Grazulis to be a F5 tornado.  The total damage was estimated to be $700,000 (in 2007 dollars this would be $14.9 million)
The final tornado touched down around 8:30 PM two miles north of St. Charles (Winona County).  This tornado then moved east northeast for 12 miles before dissipating 4 miles north of Lewiston.  One man was killed in the destruction of a farm house 4 miles northeast of St. Charles.  In addition to this death, the tornado injured 19 others.  This tornado was estimated by Thomas P. Grazulis to be a F3 tornado.  It was estimated that this tornado produced $1,000 in damage (in 2007 dollars this would be $21,000).
Impact of this Event:
Prior to these tornadoes, there were only three hospitals in the state of Minnesota outside of the Twin Cities.  None of these hospitals were located near Rochester.  After the F5 tornado struck Rochester, a dance hall (Rommel Hall) was transformed into a temporary emergency room.  Doctors William Mayo and his two sons (William and Charles) took charge of caring for patients.  Mother May Alfred Moes of the Sisters of St. Francis helped care for patients as well.  After this disaster the Mayo family and the Sisters of St. Francis realized the need of a hospital in Rochester.  They banded together to form St. Mary’s Hospital, which ultimately led to the creation of the Mayo Clinic.”
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/arx/?n=aug211883

Lord, this is truly a beauty for ashes story in the history of Minnesota! This terrible tornado, which kills 31 and obliterates the land, is the impetus for the Mayo Clinic?! Will You forgive the sadness, anger, and distrust that may stem from this day of weather towards You? Will You forgive any verbal vows or commitments made towards You in the pain of this moment within the blast of an horrific storm? We are only people! We do not see as You see.
Conversely, will You bless Mother Alfred Moes, the Sisters of St. Francis, and Dr. William Mayo and their progeny? Will You bless us with vision beyond the present tense as a people? Will You cause us to remember that even tragedy can birth new life and healing?

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19th Century, Catholic, History, Intercession, Jesus, Medicine, Minnesota, Natural Disaster, Weather

Tornado Kills 31 in Rochester

unknown

Aug 21, 1883
A tornado sweeps through Dodge County, killing five, and then lands in Rochester, killing thirty-one. Mother Alfred Moes and the Sisters of St. Francis convert their school into an emergency hospital, with Dr. William Mayo supervising.

Realizing the need for a permanent hospital in the city, Moes establishes St. Mary’s Hospital on October 1, 1889. This facility would evolve into the Mayo Clinic.*

This story is just like You Eternal Father! You turn a curse into a blessing, and usually use ordinary people in the process. Thank you forever for having a greater perspective on life than us! Thanks that You give insight.
I bless the benefits of the tragic tornado that struck Dodge county! Will you forgive any curses past or present on Dodge county? I ask for insight of the root sins of the county, and the future of Rochester and the Clinic. I bless the city of Rochester, the clinic, it’s employees, clients, in the authority of Jesus! I know that Your favor remembers both before our sense of time begins, and will continue after the end. May Your favor rest in perpetuity for the faithfulness of theses sisters’, Moes, and all who volunteered to work in the emergency hospital. Amen!

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!

**The rest of the story?  http://history.mayoclinic.org

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