Stevens Point Area, WI Storm, July 1912
The electrical rain and wind storm which passed over this city and vicinity Friday evening and is also reported to have been quite general throughout the state, caused more damage in this section than any similar storm in recent years. Following a calm, clear afternoon and early evening, at about 7 o'clock dashes of lightning became visible at intervals in the western sky. Gradually these became more intense and a strong west wind began to blow, although until about 9 o'clock but little rain fell. At the latter time there occurred a veritable cloudburst and for about an hour the rain came down in torrents. The streets were flooded and the drain pipes clogged, making walking almost impossible. Added to this electric lighting service became crippled and all streets were in total darkness except for the frequent dashes of lightning, for several hours, and some sections were without lighting throughout the entire night. For a short time the rain changed to hail but the stones were very small and it is not probably that growing crops were injured by them to any great extent.
At times the wind blew with such violence that the storm resembled a hurricane with the coming of day light scenes of destruction were prevalent, although a peculiar thing about this is the fact that that section of the city lying south of Clark street suffered the most, the north part of town escaping with little damage. In the section referred to there is hardly a street that does not bear evidence of the storm's wrath. Hundreds of shade trees were damaged, some being torn up by the roots, others snapped off at the trunk, while many of the more sturdy escaped with broken branches.
The smoke stack of the Stevens Point Brewing Co's plant, a tall steel structure, was blown over. The roof of a box car containing furniture enroute from Marshfield to Chicago, and standing in the local Soo line yards, was torn off and considerable amount of the slate roof on the old round house was blown to distant parts. The ice house belonging to Joseph Maurer and located on the west side of Water street, north of the Stevens Point brewery was damaged. The building is of a light construction and but for the fact that it was partly filled with ice, would undoubtedly have been blown completely over. As it was a portion of the east wall collapsed and the whole structure is leaning far over to the west, liable to go down as soon as the ice is removed. It is reported that the bodies of hundreds of birds that were blown to destruction, have been found in many parts of the city.
So far as known there was no one injured by the storm, although several had narrow escapes. One of the latter is Thomas Coan, a member of the local police force. Mr. Coan was occupying a tent in the rear of his house when suddenly and without warning a poplar tree, about sixty feet high and two feet through the trunk was blown over, falling dangerously near to where Mr. Coan was. Another smaller tree of the same kind in Mr. Coan's yard was also blown over, as was a section of a high board fence in his yard and in that of Frank Patterson, adjoining.
In the towns of Linwood and Hull, the greatest damage appears to have been wrought. In the former Mike Stremkowski's barn and silo were levelled, entailing a heavy loss as the buildings were substantial and cost a considerable amount. William Krutza of the same town lost his barn and most of the contents, when it burned as the result of being struck by lightning.
Mrs. Catherine Lovely of the town of Hull lost a new barn, the wind tearing it to pieces after it had been moved fully six feet off its foundation. The horse barn was also unroofed and one horse was very seriously injured.
Two head of cattle belonging to Joseph Wojak of the town of Sharon were killed by lightning.
A barn in Linwood, belonging to N. Boyington company, was unroofed, causing heavy loss.
Stevens Point Daily Journal, Stevens Point, WI 13 Jul 1912