Various Towns, GA, SC Tornadoes, Apr 1929
71 DEAD IN TORNADOES.
SCORES HURT MANY HOMELESS IN SOUTH STORM.
FIVE GEORGIA AND TWO SOUTH CAROLINA COMMUNITIES SWEPT BY SERIES OF TWISTERS YESTERDAY.
HEAVY HAIL BEATS DOWN CROPS, FRUIT.
SURVIVORS SAW STORM APPROACHING AND SOUGHT SHELTER -- ONE FAMILY HIDES IN DRAINING DITCH.
Atlanta, Ba., April 26 -- The total known dead in the tornado stricken sections of Georgia and South Carolina reached 71 today. Several hundred persons were injured.
The greatest destruction was wrought in South Georgia, sixty-five of the reported dead being in that section. The other six in the death list are in South Carolina.
Statesboro, Ga., county seat of Bulloch county, near Savannah, was the heaviest hit. The hospital there reported that more than 30 persons were dead and many others injured. A call came from Statesboro to the Georgia Board of Health for anti-tetanus serum and for nurses.
Metter, the seat of Candler county reported 19 known dead from two tornadoes which were accompanied by hail and a downpour of rain. One struck at 8:10 o'clock last night and the second at 11 o'clock.
Cochran, seat of Bleckley county approximately sixty miles south of Macon, reported five dead and injuries to approximately fifty. First reports from Cochran had fixed the death list at a greater humber but later reports revised these figures.
The tornado spread destruction over a wide area in a half dozen counties. In some cases several members of families were killed. MRS. C. O. NEWTON, living in the Hagin District of Bulloch County was awakened by rain beating in her face. Her home had been blown down while she slept and scattered about her with the bodies of her four children, EMMA, 28, LILLIE MAY, 25, EDWARD, 16, and GRADY, 18.
MR. and MRS. W. L. COLEMAN and their three children were killed in the destruction of their farm home in Candler County.
Rain and hail accompanied the tornadoes in most instances, beating down crops which were wholly ruined in many places.
All doctors and nurses in the vicinity of the stricken areas were making their way into the wrecked communities with medical supplies for the relief of the injured.
At Statesboro, Ga., nine negro children were killed in one house during the storm.
Approximately half a hundred persons injured at Cochran were being cared for today in private homes and in the Taylor building which was converted into a temporary hospital directed by trained nurses. It was believed several of these were fatally hurt.
Residents who watched the twister come out of the northwest there late yesterday said it resembled a red, whirling funnel in its advance up the main street. They saw it swerve some five blocks from the center of town toward the south, where it descended in full force on a negro settlement known as Happy Hill. This little community, where most of the five deaths occurred, virtually was wiped out.
More than 100 persons were injured as the tornadoes dipped down in widely scattered communities, demolishing houses and farm buildings and left scores homeless.
The first of what witnesses said was two distinct twisters struck at Cochran, Ga., about dusk, killing five persons and leaving approximately 50 injured, three of them perhaps fatally.
Jumping to Dexter, Ga., the wind demolished homes, leaving four dead and a score of injured before rising to dip again at Renz, Ga., where one person was killed and several injured.
The tornado then swirled up the Atlantic seaboard into South Carolina and struck near Spartanburg where four were killed, and at Pelzer, leaving two dead. The number of injured in this area was not known.
The second tornado appeared late last night at Metter, Ga., where C. B. YANDLE of the Meter Advertiser said "There are at least 25 dead."
The number of injured was not known.
Following is a list of dead and known injured by communities:
Cochran, Ga., five dead, 50 injured.
Metter, Ga., approximately 25 dead, undetermined number injured.
Dexter, Ga., 2 dead, several injured.
Rentz, Ga., one dead, several injured.
Statesboro, Ga., 30 dead, unknown number injured.
Pelzer, S.C., 2 dead, several injured.
Spartansburg, S.C., 4 dead, unknown number injured.
Witnesses said the tornadoes struck in quick succession, swirled off and reappeared at points many miles away, leaving desolation over wide areas.
Heavy hail storms accompanied the winds in many sections, beating down crops and damaging peach orchards. Highways were impassable in spots and litter and debris made many detours necessary.
Doctors and nurses from Eastman and Hartwell, Ga., were in Cochran caring for injured, while relief parties worked throughout the night in other stricken communities.
Most of the casualties were widely scattered in the rural sections surrounding the villages in the path of the twisters, and the extent of the area visited by the tornadoes made a complete check of injured impossible for some time, relief workers said.
Many of the rural residents saw the storm approaching, and were able to seek shelter. One farmer, with his wife and five children sought refuge in a drainage ditch. They watched their home blown to pieces, but escaped unharmed.
Others were not so fortunate. A man and his wife near Dexter fled to an open field, where they were struck by the twister. The woman and her six months old child were killed and the man seriously injured.
MILTON KNIGHT and his family sought shelter in a potato bin which was torn to pieces and the family injured by falling brick.
Cumberland Evening Times Maryland 1929-04-26