Allentown, PA Storm and Lightning, Jun 1911


Fallen Wire Turns Iron Side of House Into Death Trap.

Allentown, Pa., June 12. -- Three men were killed and damage was caused amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars in a cloudburst that hit Allentown tonight.
“Chain lightning” that blinded the onlookers was accompanied by terrifying thunder. A gale that rose to 70 miles an hour blew down trees by the hundreds in every part of the city. The trees tore down electric light and trolley wires. The rain was like a cataract. Within five minutes water flooded over the sidewalks into cellars. Houses were unroofed in every section of the city.
To add to the damage the storm brought with it hail whose like was never seen here. The hail smashed window panes on the exposed side of almost every house in town.
At Tenth and Union streets a lightning blast smashed a tree which fell on a house in which MRS. CARRIE ALLENDER conducted a boarding house. One side of the house was built of corrugated iron. A high tension wire carrying 13,000 volts fell against the iron side of the house. Two men in the house, HANNIBAL DOTTERER and IRVIN GACKENBACH, were electrocuted and MRS. ALLENDER shocked into insensibility.
JOHN WAGNER, a friend of the men killed, rushed into the house in a heroic effort to rescue them. As he touched DOTTERER'S body WAGNER was shocked unconscious and he died as he was being carried into a house across the street.

The Washington Post District of Columbia 1911-06-13