Friday, June 22, 2012

This Day in History June 22, 1919

What a chilling picture, eh?  And this was reality on this date in 1919 in Fergus Falls, Minnesota.

The second deadliest tornado in Minnesota history was responsible for this damage.  It struck at 4:46 P.M., killed 57, injured 200, and destroyed about 400 buildings--including 228 homes.  Some curious things happened as a result of this F5 tornado.  Lumber was carried ten miles away.  A blank check was found 60 miles away, and Lake Alice was filled with lumber and storm debris.

The Great Northern Oriental Limited passenger train was coming through Fergus Falls at just this time, and it was thrown off the tracks.  Amazingly, none of the 250 passengers were injured!  Thirty-five of the casualties were in the Grand Hotel, a 3-story structure.  And as a side note, although there was no such thing as an "F5" tornado at this point in history, it is clear from the descriptions that it must have been.

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