Ivy, VA Tornado Destruction, Sep 1959



Charlottesville, Va. (UPI) -- Weary rescuers found an 11th body early today amidst the rain-soaked tangle of splintered homes and fallen trees in a tornado-hit farm community near here.
Ten of the dead, including five children, were members of one family. Two other children who were reported missing were accounted for as the grim cleanup began in the twister's aftermath.
The 11th victim, 3-year-old SHIRLEY ANN MORRIS, was found early today.
The twister struck Wednesday afternoon.
The tornado isolated the farming community of Ivy, six miles west of Charlottesville, for several hours. It cut a mile-long path of destruction two hours after a smaller twister hit the community.
Three children were sucked into the funnel and hurled to their deaths as they walked from a school bus toward their home seconds before it was destroyed. Two other children watched in horror from another home 100 feet away which was not damaged.
The two funnels knocked out all electricity and telephone lines and felled trees which blocked all roads into the area.
The dead and injured lay helpless for two hours before police heard of the disaster. Rescue workers had to fight through a deluge which piled as much as four feet of water on highways, then found their way completely blocked a quarter-mile from the farm orchard where the homes were splintered.
The dead and injured were carried and tugged through a maze of fallen trees and power lines in a ghastly scene lighted only by the flashlights of exhausted workers. Rain poured down.
Ambulances were pushed by hand around fallen trees and over mired roads.
No one reached the scene until after dark.
The twister and another which struck nearby Greene County, Va., destroyed two churches and an uncounted number of homes and farm buildings and ruined farm crops.
The death and destruction was added to the toll of 11 killed by hurricane Gracie as it swept through the Carolinas causing millions of dollars damage. The U.S. Weather Bureau at Richmond, Va., said the two storms were not connected.
The three children's bodies were found in the wreckage of the home along with those of six relatives who were crushed to death. Two of the children were impaled on tree limbs, police said. The family were identified as MRS. FRANCES GENEVIVE TRUSLOW MORRIS, 18, her two children, PEGGY, 18 months, and MICHAEL LINWOOD, 7 months; her father-in-law, IRVIN MORRIS, SR., about 40, his wife, MRS. FRANCES MORRIS, in her 40's; his brother, GEORGE MORRIS, in his 40's; and three of the couple's children WILMER, 15; MARY, 12 and JAMES 18.
The younger MRS. MORRIS' husband, IRVIN MORRIS, JR., 21, was reported in bad condition at a Charlottesville hospital with multiple injuries. Two other children in the family, HERBERT C. MORRIS, 8, and FRANCES ANN MORRIS, 5, also were hospitalized.
The other victim was MRS. LILLY S. BRUCE, 56, whose home was pivoted on its foundation by the wind which tore off the roof. Her husband, RAYMOND, was treated at the University of Virginia Hospital and released.
JAMES THOMSA TRUSLOW, a relative of the MORRIS family, said three other MORRIS children were missing. They were identified as SHIRLEY ANN, 3, RUBY, 15, and GEORGIA, 13.
The MORRIS and BRUCE homes were located in a farm orchard along with a third home which was destroyed. No one was home there.

The Morgantown West Virginia 1959-10-01


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