Virginia Storm, Jun 1911

Gale Off Virginia Peninsula Sinks Small Craft.


Newport News, Va., June 12 – Sweeping out of the southwest with cyclonic velocity, a wind, rain, hail, and electrical storm struck the lower end of the Virginia peninsula late this afternoon and left a trail of death and ruin in its wake.
At this hour it is impossible to definitely state the number of dead, for many small craft, with their human freight, went down in the storm at various points along the James River and in Hampton Roads. Conservative estimates tonight place the dead at not more than fifteen. None of the bodies has been recovered, and nothing is known here of the identity of the missing people, as most of them were fishermen from distant counties along the James River.

Havoc in Newport News.
Great havoc was wrought in this city, houses being unroofed, trees, wires, and telegraph poles being blown down. Half a dozen vessels moored at piers here broke away, and nearly all were damaged.
At the shipyard the submarine Seal was struck by a schooner and badly disabled, and the same schooner rammed a hole in the old Dominion liner Jamestown. Roofs of shops at the ship-yard also owere[sic] torn away. Scaffolding around ships in course of construction on the stocks was blown down. Part of the metal covering on the side of the Chesapeake and Ohio elevator B also was blown away.
Rough estimates place the property loss and damage from the storm at more than $100,000.
So many live wires fell in the city that it was necessary to cut off all electric current and the entire peninsula, including Newport News, Hampton and Phoebus are in total darkness tonight.

Cape Charles, Va., June 12 – During a heavy electric and wind storm which passed over this section this afternoon, several freight cars aboard a barge of the New York, Philadelphia and Norfolk Railroad en route from Norfolk to Cape Charles, in the Chesapeake Bay were unroofed by the terrific force of the wind. Capt. FORREST of the tug Portsmouth towing the barge reports the storm the most severe he has ever experienced crossing the capes.

The Washington Post District of Columbia 1911-06-13