Buffalo, NY Storm, Oct 1886


Loss of Life and Extensive Destruction of Property.

The fatalities and damage to property caused by the recent storms were not confined to the West and Southwest. At Buffalo, N. Y., a serious loss of life and much damage to property occurred. A dispatch from that city says:

Examination shows the damage by last night's gale in this city to fall not short of $50,000 to buildings, breakwaters, etc. A new church and part of the new Music Hall were blown down, and boat-houses, ice-houses and bath-houses were washed away. About a mile of the New York Central tracks was torn up, overturning and smashing a train of freight cars. That part of Buffalo known as the Island and the adjacent territory lying on the lake front is today a scene of utter desolution[sic]. Probably 400 persons living in this part of the city are without homes. Many storm adventures are told. In the water near the Lake Shore tracks, almost a mile from its proper location, is the house of JOHN QUINN. When the lake began to rise QUINN and his wife were driven from the house and took refuge in the limbs of a tree. JOHN EDWARDS, a neighbor, whose house was flooded out, tried to get into the tree, but the hurricane blew him into the rushing water. His dead body was found to-day half buried in sand. A toll-gate lodge on the turnpike near the Lake Shore Road was floated off its foundations. The keeper and his wife seized their three little children and spent the night drifting about at the mercy of the storm. The floating house was often submerged by the waves, which ran unprecedentedly high. The two younger children died of exposure before morning, when the rescue tugs reached the house and took the family off. A number of drowning cases in the immediate vicinity of the city are reported. From fifty to 100 houses, saloons, and other structures were totally wrecked by wind and water. The TIFFT farm docks of the Lehigh Railroad are under water. The entire fleet of the City Yacht Club is sunk or stranded. Not in forty years has the water risen to such a height. Canal boats were lifted from the canal and are left dry on the towpath. A relief fund has been raised for the people whose homes are washed away.
So far six persons are known to have lost their lives, and it is feared that the muddy waters of Lake Erie will yet give up more bodies of the unfortunates who lived along the sea-wall. The names are: JOHN EDWARDS; an old man who worked for the CUINNS; ANNIE DIETCH, aged seven; JACOB DEITCH, JR., aged one; CHARLES MITCHELL, a canaller, who walked off into the water into the dark during the storm; HENRY MILLINGTON, and the cook on the schooner Kelderhouse, who went overboard coming into port and could not be recovered.

The Cranbury Press New Jersey 1886-10-22