Albany, GA Tornado Devestates Town, Feb 1940

Albany GA Hotel Gordon.jpg Albany GA New Albany Hotel circa 1928.jpg Albany GA Terminal Hotel Tornado 2-10-1940.jpg Albany GA Theater Hit By Tornado 2-10-1940.jpg



Albany, Ga., Feb. 10 (AP) -- Between 12 and 15 persons were killed and several hundred injured by a tornado which smashed the business section of this southwest Georgia city today.
Chariman L. R. Ferrell of the Albany Red Cross chapter made the estimate of the dead in a wire to national Red Cross headquarters, and told James R. Blair of the American Times-Recorder that "it was impossible to say" exactly how many.

Albany, Ga., Feb. 10 (AP) -- A tornado killed at least three persons, injured between 75 and 100 and caused widespread property damage in this south Georgia industrial and resort city early today.
Two companies of National Guardsmen were ordered to the city by Gov. E. D. Rivers. Heavy rain followed the winds, preventing fires, but making rescue work difficult. The bodies of an unidentified white woman and two colored men were located.
Debris littered streets of the city, with a population of 14,507. Communication and power lines were damaged.
W. B. Bryan, manager of the telephone company, said the storm struck the business area near the post office, damaging or demolishing the New Albany hotel, the Gordon hotel, the St. Nicholas hotel, and the Royal building, radio station WGPC and several other business structures along or near Pine avenue.
From Washington came word that the Red Cross was sending disaster relief workers Stone Crane and Mrs. Beatrice Vines into Albany.
Ambulance drivers were ordered to pick up only the injured, leaving the bodies for later.
Roaring out of the southwest the tornado ripped through scores of shanties, smashed railroad property around the station and crushed the walls of nearly every business building along the main business street.
Managing Editor W. M. Pryse of the Albany Herald said the storm roared out of the southwest
"like a thousand freight trains."
"Only the fact it came at night saved us from being another Gainesville," Pryse declared.
"Every store front downtown is smashed and many of the roofs are caved in." (More than 200 persons were killed in the Gainesville, Ga., tornado in 1936.
Pryse said injured were being poured into the hospital at Albany so fast "they had to lay them out on the floors and try to get to the most urgent cases first."
Lights and water were cut off by the storm. Rain fell heavily. Story Elks club building was wrecked. Rosenberg brothers, a department store, also was damaged; the 3-story Sears-Roebuck store, Woolworth, a new A. and P. super market and the Binns hotel were described by Pryse as "almost complete wrecks."
William Godley, mortician, said the body of one white woman was carried to his place. Two colored men were known to be dead at that time and Godley said a large death list appeared certain from the colored district.

The Emporia Gazette Kansas 1940-02-10