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Gainesville, GA Tornado, Apr 1936

Hall County Court House Hall County Court House after the tornado Dixie Hunt Hotel destroyed in the tornado

TORNADOES BLAST WAY THROUGH HALF DOZEN STATES

Flames Add to Terror of High Winds; Heavy Loss To Property Noted

Relief Workers of Belief Death Toll Will Mount As Debris Is Searched

ATLANTA, April 6.-(AP)-More than 225 are known dead, one thousand injured and hundreds homeless were listed today in the toll of tornadoes and storm - bred fires which terrorized communities in half a dozen Southern states.

HEAVY PROPERTY LOSS

Relief authorities estimated property damage should run from $1,000,000 to $6,000,000 in the cities worst affected, Tupelo, Miss., and Gainesville, Ga.

Five men perished in a hardware company store fire at Gainesville in the wake of a tornado which struck soon after the opening of business establishments at that north Georgia mill center.

White persons predominated among the victims. However, a large part of the Negro section of Gainesville was levelled.

Fires broke out in both Gainesville and Tupelo. Rain helped firemen to quench the blazing structures in the Mississippi city.

Relief workers said the death toll might mount appreciably as debris was removed. At Gainesville it was feared the loss might rival that of a tornado which killed 104 persons there June 1, 1903.

HITS EARLY

Residents of Gainesville said two hundred persons may have been killed there. There was no confirmation of rumors of "one thousand dead."

The twister struck at Gainesville at 8:45 a. m., about twelve hours after other storms ripped from Arkansas to Tennessee.

GAINESVILLE, Ga., April 6.-(AP)-Devastated by a tornado which took at least seventy-five lives, and then seared by flames, the business district of Gainsville, prosperous northeast Georgia textile mill center, was in ruins today.

Scattered fires raged in various parts of the wrecked business section as workers dug in the ruins seeking additional bodies.

Five of those who lost their lives were trapped in a tornado and fire-swept hardware store.

Much of the business section, and some residential areas, in an area 2 1/2 miles long and half a mile wide, were ravaged by the storm.

City Fireman C. M. LOGGINS estimated from eighty to one hundred persons were killed, at least seven hundred injured and damage in excess of $5,000,000.

Reno Evening Gazette, Reno, NV 6 Apr 1936

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GEORGIA CITY SEARED BY FIRE AS DEATHS RISE

Toll of 100 or More Dead Feared Under Debris.

14 CITY BLOCKS IN SHAMBLES

Gainesville, Ga., April 6.-(AP)-Devastated by a tornado which took at least 42 lives, and then seared by flames, the business district of Gainesville, prosperous northeast Georgia textile mill center, was in ruins today.

Scattered fires raged in various parts of the wrecked business section as workers dug in the ruins seeking additional bodies.

Five of those who lost their lives were trapped in a tornado and fire-swept hardware store.

Brenau College for Women and Riverside Military Academy were not in the path of the storm, which lasted just three minutes.

Wide Area Devastated

Much of the business section and some residential areas, in an area 2 1/2 miles long and a half mile wide, were ravaged by the storm.

City Fireman G. M. LOGGINS estimated from 80 to 100 persons were killed, at least 700 injured and damage in excess of $5,000,000.

Twenty-two known dead, as reported by the police department, were listed by CHARLES M. FARSY of the Gainesville News.

LOGGINS said that "evidently scores of people are buried alive in the wreckage."

Fourteen city blocks of business houses are in shambles.

Improvised Morgues Set Up

Improvised morgues were set up at the New Holland Mill, Chicopee Mill and Gainesville Mill.

The city hall and court house were both destroyed.

"There are lots of dead people in the wreckage," LOGGINS said.

MRS. FRANCIS WEBB, in charge of the emergency hospital at the Chicopee Mills, said between 150 and 200 received treatment there this morning.

Eighty of the most critically injured were hospitalized in the mill village.

LOGGINS said seven of the most critically injured were taken out of a pants factory, burned beyond recognition.

Dixie Hunt Hotel Demolished

The Dixie Hunt hotel, the city's largest, was demolished and the fate of the guests was unknown. Fire which raged in the Dixie Hunt block did not reach the hotel.

Ruins trapped the city's fire trucks in the department headquarters, and the local department was helpless to assist, except for stringing hose from the fire department to the two fires.

Gainesville, a thriving city of 8624 population (1930 census), is in northeast Georgia, about 55 miles north of Atlanta. There are several thousand more persons just outside the city limits, including the population in the mill village of the Chicopee Manufacturing corporation.

The Daily Times-News, Burlington, NC 6 Apr 1936

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