Gainesville, GA Area Tornado, Apr 1936 - 350 Killed
350 KILLED BY TORNADOES OVER WIDE AREA IN SOUTH; PROPERTY DAMAGE HEAVY
187 DIE IN GA1NESVILLE,GA.
300 Others Injured as
Storm in 3 Minutes
Wrecks Trade Area
FIRE EATS AT THE RUINS
Dead at Tupelo, Miss., Are
Between 150 and 200 —
Four Other States Hit
RED CROSS RUSHES IN AID
Floods Rise in the West, Cold
and Snow in Many Places
— Gales Pound the Coasts
Tornadoes and Floods
The death toll from tornadoes
sweeping six Southern States
mounted to more than 350 last
night and it was feared more
bodies would be found as wreckage
was removed. From 1,500 to
2,000 were injured.
A tornado struck Gainesville, Ga.,
yesterday morning and took a toll
of 187 lives, with many others
injured and nearly every business
building in the city damaged or
wrecked. Fires broke out all over
the damaged area. The tornado
also swept Acworth, Woodstock
and Lavonia, Ga., but no lives
Tupelo, Miss., where fire consumed
ruins left by the tornado, had between
150 and 200 dead and hundreds
injured, with the toll mounting
as search of wreckage progressed.
There were thirteen dead
at Coffeeville, Miss., four at
Booneville and seven at Auburn.
Four were dead at Elkwood, Ala.,
and six at Red Bay; ten in t he
Columbia area of Tennessee and
one at Fayetteville, and one at
Damage was put at $8,000,000 or
higher. Floods, snow and cold swept
parts of the West, while gales battered
Gainesville Left in Ruins
Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.
GAINESVILLE, Ga., April 6 — At
least 187 persons were killed, more
than 300 were injured and property
was damaged to an estimated extent
of $5,000,000 by a tornado which
struck this mill town early today.
Fourteen city blocks of business
houses were left in ruins. A small
section of a residential district also
was wrecked by the storm, which
lasted only three minutes as it
roared over an area two and a half
miles long and half a mile wide.
Rescue workers, hampered by
fires which broke out after the
storm, continued a relentless search
of the debris tonight for additional
bodies. Bodies of many of the dead
were so badly mangled and burned
that immediate identification was
The new postoffice and Federal
Court House, dedicated last year by
Postmaster General Farley, was t he
only structure in the downtown
area not damaged.
The tornado struck at 8:45 A. M.
(Eastern standard time), just as
hundreds were going to work.
Debris Traps Fire Trucks
Ruins trapped the city's fire
trucks, and water hydrants were
buried. As fires began to spread,
firemen and volunteers resorted to
the dynamiting of buildings to
check them. Late today the fires
were finally under control.
National Guard troops, with, detachments
of police from Atlanta
and other neighboring cities, took
over the task of helping local police
and rescuing the injured.
Doctors, nurses, food and medical
supplies were rushed from Atlanta.
The Red Cross and Salvation Army
sent representatives from all nearby
Churches, homes and facilities of
Brenau College, where several hundred
girls are in attendance, and
the Riverside Military Academy
were converted into first aid stations.
Neither Brenau nor Riverside
was in the path of the storm.
Improvised morgues were established
in three of the city's largest
W. E. Dozier, city clerk, said he
was sitting in the City Hall, in the
heart of the town, when he heard
one of the windows smash. He got
up to look and was blown across
April 7, 1936 edition of The New York Times