Rochester, NY Great Tornado Destruction, May 1866



Rochester, N. Y., Monday, May 21.
The damage by the storm here yesterday afternoon was very great. The loss may be estimated by tens of thousands of dollars. Buildings were unroofed, windows destroyed, young trees and plants cut down by the hail, and gardens wholly ruined. The nurseries and green-houses suffered much. The storm covered an area of four miles, but the hail was limited to about two miles. Hailstones of more than an inch in diameter covered the ground. They cut the limbs from the trees, and killed thousands of birds who had taken refuge in the foliage. Several children were injured by the hail, and a number of animals were killed.
The lightning struck the stone chapel in Mount Hope Cemetery, where many people had taken refuge, but none were severely injured. The building was somewhat damaged.
St. Mary's Hospital was partly unroofed. The glass manufacturing establishment of the Rochester Chemical Works was partly demolished, involving a large loss of glass.
The storekeepers opened their stores on Sunday evening, the enable the citizens to get materials to make their houses tenable for the night.

The New York Times New York 1866-05-22