Gainesville, GA Tornado, Apr 1936 - graphic account

Public Square, Gainesville, Georgia early 1900s.jpg Gainesville, Georgia After the Tornado 6 Apr 1936.jpg

Graphic Account of Striking of Twister Related

Gainesville, Ga., April 6-(AP)-G. C. REED, manager of the Southern Bell Telephone company at Gainesville, who drove to Buford to put out calls for help, said there:

"The business district of Gainesville is built around a square. It was wrecked. From a hurried survey, I would say that every building was damaged, many of them wrecked.

"The storm blew in about 8:45 a. m. EST. I had entered my automobile to go to Athens on business and was just on the edge of the storm.

"I got out as soon as the blow was over - in about eight minutes I would judge - and went to the business section where everything was a shambles.

"There is no way of telling how many were killed, of course I got away quickly to get help.

"The business district has two very bad fires and our fire department is blocked in because part of the city hall was wrecked.

"The storm roared through the business section - it sounded like a thousand locomotives.

"One part of the Dixie Hunt hotel was wrecked and the roof was torn from another part of that hotel.

"The First Baptist church was unroofed, the court house - we were going to tear it down anyhow - was wrecked.

"The Pruitt - Barrett Hardware company plant, a four story building, was levelled and the ruins are now burning.

"Debris is piled up eight to 10 feet high in front of the city hall and fire department, in that building, also wrecked.

The Harrison - Frierson - McEver department store, two stories high, is a complete wreck.

"Newman's department store, also two stories, was wrecked.

"So is the Gainesville Midland railway depot.

"Jacobs Motor company, Studebaker and Plymouth dealers, Pierce Plumbing company, St. Paul's Methodist church, and other buildings in the downtown area suffered damage.

"I teleponed [sic] our office in Atlanta from here (Buford) and they are getting out calls to the Red Cross.

"I wish you would put out the word that Brenau college (famed school for girls) was not in the path of the storm. I haven't been out to Riverside military academy, two miles from town, but I think it was outside the storm's path too.

"Telephone and power lines, wreckage and so on are all over the business district. It is a regular shambles.

"Buford and Lawrenceville sent fire fighting equipment."

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