Roxobel, NC Destructive Tornado, Apr 1943


Rich Square, April 20. -- (AP) -- A tornado that lasted less than two minutes laid waste the heart of Roxobel, Bertie county community of less than 400, killed at least five persons and wrought property damage estimated at nearly $200,000.
HARRY HOLLINGSWORTH, JR., a newspaperman who visited the scene two hours after the twister struck in mid-afternoon yesterday, said all the dead were negroes. He identified them as LINNY BUSH, 50, and BETTIE BUSH, 30, sisters, and BERTHA WYMAN and her two small children.
Fifteen or 20 persons were injured.
HOLLINGSWORTH said state highway patrolmen and business men estimated the damage at $175,000 to $200,000.
Eastern area and district officials of the American Red Cross, in a conference in Charlotte at the time the storm struck, promptly dispatched representatives to provide medical needs, food, clothing and shelter for the victims.
J. B. WEAVER, Rich Square lawyer, who went to Roxobel after the storm, said it cut a 50-yard swath through the business district, demolishing two two-story brick store buildings, the Methodist church, several other business houses and a number of residences and damaging many other structures.
The state highway patrol's Williamston office also reported that power and communication lines were blown down and more than 200 trees uprooted, in some places blocking thoroughfares and obstructing traffic.
The twister was said to have moved through the countryside for at least two miles.
Some of the injured were taken to neighboring communities for hospitalization.

The Daily Times-News Burlington North Carolina 1943-04-20