Kentucky, Arkansas, Texas, Mississippi & Tennessee Storms, May 1935


Lightning Spreads Death In
Kentucky, Arkansas, Texas,
Mississippi and Tennessee


150 .Buildings Unroofed There
on Eve of Derby —
Indiana Child Is Blown to Street
in Bed

LOUISVILLE, Ky., May 3 — Sixteen
persons were left dead and
upward of 100 injured today in the
wake of furious wind and electrical
storms which spread destruction
over seven States.
Four men were killed by lightning,
three in Kentucky and one in
Texas. One white woman and five
Negro persons were killed in Arkansas,
five Negroes were killed in
Mississippi, and a white youth was
killed in Tennessee. Great property
damage was also caused in these
States as well as in Indiana, Louisiana
and Tennessee.
The storm unroofed 150 buildings
in Louisville and the thunder and
lightning caused great excitement
among the thoroughbred horses
quartered at Churchill Downs
awaiting tomorrow's sixty-first
Kentucky Derby. No horse was injured.
Striking late yesterday, the storms
swept northeastward from Texas,
finally spending their fury today
in Kentucky and Indiana. Heavy
downpours of rain accompanied
electrical salvos and high winds
along most of the course over
which the disturbance zig-zagged.
The greatest toll of dead and injured
was counted in Mississippi
County, Arkansas. At least sixty
persons, mostly colored, were reported
injured in that area.
Mrs. Mary H. Fields, 58, was injured
fatally when wind crushed
her home at Dermott. A Negro
woman was killed by lightning in
her home near Pine Bluff, and a
Negro was struck by lightning near
Texarkana. More Negro victims
were killed in other parts of Mississippi
Six members of one family were
injured seriously when their home
at Stella, Ark., was demolished by
lightning. Four others were hurt
in buildings that crumbled before
a high wind at Blytheville, Ark.
In Kentucky, Thomas Spencer,
19, was killed by lightning near,
Kevil, and C. C. Bennett, 50, and
Malcolm Flannigan, 31, were killed
by a bolt as they sought shelter
from the rain under a tree on Bennett's
Henderson County farm.
The State of Texas, where one man
was killed by lightning, was doubly
plagued by the destructive storm
and the appearance of rolling dust
clouds, although not in the same
districts. The wind and electric
storm struck the northeast section,
while the dust swirled over the
central part of the State.
Considerable damage was done
and several persons injured in
Southern Indiana. Trees were torn
up, houses unroofed and lights put
out in Jeffersonville.
One of the notable escapes of the
storm occurred at Jasonville, Ind.,
where seventy-five persons were
left homeless. Frona Gentry, 7,
was given up for dead by her family
when her home was destroyed.
But a search revealed her in bed
in the street, where she had been
blown without being awakened.

May 4, 1935 edition of The New York Times