San Antonio, TX Area Storm and Flood, Jun 1898
The tower bells and electric circuits of the city fire alarm system were opened by the one severe thunder clap of the storm but no damage was done. The strain on the poles at the corner of Commerce and St. Mary’s streets had something to do with this but a lineman was sent out immediately and repairs were made.
The electric fluid descended in a stream on the middle of College street, opposite the side entrance to St. Mary’s College during the big thunder clap, and as it struck the wet ground, spread in all directions like molten metal.
The defective drainage on Bonham street from Commerce to Crockett and thence on Nacogdoches street to East Houston street banked the storm water far up on Blum and Crockett streets east and west to a depth of over two feet. A great deal of fun was had by the boys and little girls, both white and black on Blum street. The children waded in barefoot and bathed and tumbled about in the water while large negro boys, for a nickel, carried such passengers who cared to cross this way, over the lake on their backs. Some young ladies crossed by the aid of an express wagon and six boys caught a long street culvert that floated down and made a raft of it and took quite a marine journey from Crockett to East Commerce streets.
A buggy and horse and the driver were swamped in the current on Casino street and the buggy was upset.
The river rose several feet and all the creeks and ditches were bank full.
A man named Tweet, a saddler, was standing under the waiting platform with a lade at the end of the South Heights car line during the storm when the structure blew down striking both of them and cutting Mr. Tweet about the head. The timber had to be cut away from them before they could be extricated from the fallen debris.
The small grocery store of Mr. A. Schmidt, at the corner of Goliad and Water streets was inundated to the extent of about four inches all through the store house, and quite a number of barrels in which groceries were kept were considerably damaged. The back water from the overflowed ditch made the streets impassible for pedestrians for nearly two hours.
A large China tree was blown down at 125 Goliad street.
A fine shade tree was blown down in front of Mr. G. Schmeltzer’s residence on Water street.
In the neighborhood of Dreiss his two large China trees were blown down in the yard at 512 South Hackberry, one in Mrs. Walker’s yard, 721 Dakota, one in John Schroeder’s yard, 60 Wyoming; a large china 8 inches in diameter in the yard of the South Hackberry street Methodist Church, two large chinas in the yard of Mr. E.C. Schumacher, corner Omaha and South Hackberry; a roof was taken partly off Mr. Chas. Puppe’s stable corner Dakota and Hackberry; fence on rear of Mr. Schleiger’s premises, corner Hackberry and Wyoming streets, was blown down and other damage was done.
A large china tree, twelve years old was blown down in Mrs. Chas. Abbey’s yard at 612 Indiana Street.
A fence and an outhouse were blown down in the rear yard of Steward’s boarding house, 309 Vilita Street.
Dr. Menger’s yard at 725 East Commerce street, was covered with water to a depth of several inches and the Alamo Wood yard adjoining him, was knee-deep in water. Two men were water bound in the office and had to remain there until the water went down.
The water ran onto the sidewalk in front of Teke Bros.’ store on the corner of East Commerce and Live Oak streets and sacks of bran were piled up to prevent the water getting into the cellar.
Water got in through the tower of the Dullnig building and flooded the class room of Messrs. Shafter & Downey’s business college.
The water was two feet deep at 7 o’clock last evening at the corner of Walnut and Montana streets where it had backed up against the railroad track.
The East Commerce street car jumped the track at the corner of that street and Monumental street during the storm and residents in that vicinity walked home.
Several trees were blown down in the yard of Mrs. F. Burge at the corner of North Pine and Crosby streets and a lake of water for three blocks either way kept pedestrians inside.
East Commerce street was inundated and in some places, especially on the north side, near Live Oak street, was impassable, the sidewalks being under water.
A large cottonwood tree in Mr. Spahn’s yard on East Commerce street fell and, in falling, struck and damaged part of the house.