Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Tornado at Cairo

(Special to Chicago Evening Journal.)

CAIRO, April 2. – The most terrific tornado that has visited this locality for several years, came upon us at 3 o’clock, this morning.  The storm came up from the south, wind, rain, hail, thunder and lightning.

Nearly all the transports, barges, steam tugs and floating property were torn from their moorings on the Ohio levee, and blown across the river.  The slate roof on the St. Charlet [sic] Hotel was scattered over the town.

Several rods of barracks were leveled with the ground, but happily they were not tenanted, or the loss of life would have been terrible.

The Cairo and Columbus wharf boat lays high and dry on the Kentucky shore opposite here.

The steamer Illinois had both her chimneys and upper cabins torn away in the falling of which four or five lives were lost.

Capt. Carroll of the steamer Sallie had his leg broken, and several others were badly injured.  Several barges which had been carried over and were being used for store houses broke loose and floated down the river.

The large piles of Government lumber on the Ohio levee were blown into the river.

The wooden barracks at Bird’s Point caught the gale about midship and caved in largely, also Ft. Holt.  No loss of life at either of the last two points.

Much anxiety is felt for our fleet down at Island No. 10.

We have no news to-day from below, except that the gun-boats and mortars are firing semi-occasionally and the rebels reply just when they please.

Buford’s capture at Union City amounted to seven prisoners and about forty horses, and mules instead of 100 prisoners and 500 horses as before telegraphed.

The water soaking through the levee in Cairo raised five inches last night and is still rising. – Both the steam pumps are working, however – The stench increases and is becoming intolerable, and much sickness must follow this flood.

Many gentlemen tell me that over 200 distinct different odors were ascertained to exist yesterday, several wards yet to hear from and classify.

The coal oil and turpentine trade on the Cumberland river has nearly ceased, of course owing to high water.

– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, April 5, 1862, p. 3

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