Ter­rific rain, wind and hail storm hit New­ton Co. in 1883

The Covington News - - COMMUNITY CALENDAR -

(Reprinted from the Ge­or­gia En­ter­prise, April 27, 1883) Per­haps the heav­i­est rain that ever fell in the same given time, in this sec­tion, was that of last Sun­day night be­tween the hours of mid­night and day. We shall not at­tempt to paint the vivid light­ning that cut in twain the dark­ness of the gloomy night, or de­scribe the ter­rific peals of thun­der that bel­lowed forth in an­gry fury from the four quar­ters of the earth. On Mon­day morn­ing the ef­fects of the rain, hail and wind the night be­fore could be seen on all sides. The side­walks of our city were like old fields dot­ted here and there with count­less holes and gul­lies. All the creeks and branches in the county were swollen to an alarm­ing ex­tent, caus­ing great dam­age to fences as well as wash­ing some of the land be­yond the power of cul­ti­va­tion of the present year. It is im­pos­si­ble to count the loss to the county at this time, as ev­ery one more or less, were fi­nan­cially in­jured to a cer­tain ex­tent. We give in de­tail a par­tial list of the dam­ages re­ported:

All the foot bridges on Dried In­dian Creek, from its head to mouth, were washed away. The wagon bridge, on De­pots reet, alon stand­ing the heavy waves that beat against it. The foun­da­tion of the rail­road cul­vert was dis­fig­ured, and stones weigh­ing more than a ton washed rods away. The dam and part of the race of Floyd’s mill were swept from their rest­ing place and hardly a sign left to tell they ever had an ex­is­tence there.

Nor­ton & Meadors dam at their Dis­tillery was torn to pieces, their fences, troughs, etc., car­ried off, and the still ho­sue filled with sand and wa­ter to the depth of three feet. Their pas­ture fences were also car­ried away.

M.W. Davis had his new fences around his res­i­dence borne off by the high wa­ter.

Dr. J.J. Dear­ing had eigh­teen or twenty head of sheep washed away. Some of them were found dead, hav­ing been drowned. Dr. Dou­glas had his fish pond dam washed away. Mrs. Bush had the glass bro­ken from her win­dows and her or­chards torn to pieces by the hail.

At Lit­tle­ton Petty’s place, near the city, the fences were al­most washed from hill to hill. Many branches run through his lands and all were higher than they were ever known to have been be­fore.

A house on Judge P.E. Bank’s plan­ta­tion, two miles from town, oc­cu­pied by a col­ored man named Gus Hen­der­son, was blown down and partly car­ried away by the ter­rific wind.

Mrs. E. Jones, who also lives about two miles from the city, had the top of her smoke house blown off.

Mr. Wil­lie Shep­herd’s place some eight miles from town, suf­fered se­verely from the storm. His barn, crib and sev­eral ten­e­ment houses were de­mol­ished. In one of the houses a fam­ily of col­ored peo­ple barely es­caped be­ing crushed to death by the fall­ing tim­bers. A large oak tree fell di­rectly across the house and tore the bed stead to pieces that the in­mates had only va­cated a few sec­onds be­fore.

D. H. Roberts’ river bot­tom he had pre­pared to cul­ti­vate were se­ri­ously dam­aged and it is doubt­ful if he can get them ready again in time to make a crop.

Mann’s bridge, on South River, was moved, and had it not been for Messrs. Gus King, Har­mon Har­vey, mail-car­rier Loyd and a few other live men, there would not be a piece of tim­ber left. They caught and held the float­ing struc­ture with heavy ropes, re­main­ing up all of Mon­day night. It will re­quire work and money to put the bridge in pass­able order.

The bridge over South River at Snap­ping Shoals is re­ported gone, and the bridge over Wild Cat creek at the same place has been swept away.

A large gin house on Mrs. Bryant’s plan­ta­tion, nine miles from town, was torn to pieces and sev­eral mules and horses crip­pled, be­side a wagon and buggy be­ing crushed by the fall­ing roof. At J.L.T. Cost­ley’s and Mrs. John­son’s the storm was very se­vere.

From ev­ery part of the county dam­age is re­ported but for­tu­nately no lives were lost and no per­sonal in­juries have been re­ported.

It would re­quire col­umn af­ter col­umn to give even the names and a brief no­tice of all who were in­jured by the wash­ing flood of last Sun­day night. We have lived in this city 27 yearsand never be­fore do we re­mem­ber to have seen a rain so heavy or the creek and branches so high.

It will re­quire months of la­bor and a large amount of money to place our city in the same el­e­gant con­di­tion it was be­fore this freshet came upon us.

Wal­ton, Rock­dale, Jasper, Butts, Henry and other coun­ties around us have also suf­fered from the ef­fects of this del­uge.

Esquire Lazenby tells us that the storm in the neigh­bor­hood of New­born was very se­vere. The top of Fred McCol­lough’s house was un­roofed; Char­lie Bai­ley had sev­eral out houses blown down; at Olin Pitts, all the build­ings were de­mol­ished and his res­i­dence se­ri­ously dam­aged; at “Sane” Pitts’ out houses and fences were torn away. At Broughton’s the tor­nado was about one and a half mile wide and felled all the tim­ber in its wake. We learn that the storm was more se­vere as it beat its way on into Mor­gan County.

Ow­ing to the de­mand for our ser­vices in the of­fice it has been im­pos­si­ble for us to go over the county and see the dam­age done, else we would be bet­ter pre­pared to give our read­ers a more ac­cu­rate and in­ter­est­ing ac­count of the un­for­tu­nate calamity that Prov­i­dence has been proper to visit upon us.

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