Saturday, 4 June 2016

Reaping the Whirlwind: The Regina Tornado of 1912 part 4 of 6

The tornado had only visited Regina for five or six minutes but what havoc it had wrought. As it passed by houses were toppled, windows smashed and debris was deposited all around. The low pressure at the centre of the funnel cloud created a vacuum that caused many of the homes to explode taking out their windows and lifting off their roofs.

Public buildings were also damaged. One of the more spectacular of these was the telephone exchange which lost its roof and a wall and whose weighty switchboard crashed down through the floor into the basement taking three switchboard operators with it. In his book about the tornado Frank Anderson told the tale of refugees from the telephone exchange trying to convince the newspapermen at the Leader to come to the rescue. Even though the newspaper building was a few blocks away, they were not aware of the destructive tornado that had passed by a few blocks away.

There were tales of miraculous escapes and tragic deaths. Although newspaper reports had initially put it higher, the death toll was 28 with another 200 injured and 2500 homeless. More would die of their injuries in the days that followed. 

 People in front of damaged house

City of Regina Archives Photograph Collection, CORA-B-1033


Anderson, Frank (1980). Regina's Terrible Tornado, June 30, 1912. Surrey, BC, Heritage House Publishing Company

Bingaman, Sandra (2011). Storm of the Century: The Regina Tornado of 1912. Regina, Saskatchewan: Canadian Plains Research Center Press

Looker, Janet (2000). Disaster Canada. Toronto, Ontario: Lynx Images Inc.


No comments:

Post a Comment