|This page is a text version of the History of Portage la Praire and Surrounding District. You can get a PDF copy of the book on our full version page. The PDF copy is an exact page by page representation of the original book. This text version has been reformated for the web and contains text recognition mistakes. These mistakes do not appear in the full version. The full version also includes each image in the original book.|
Page Index of A History of Portage la Praire
Previous - Page 119 or Next - Page 121
No record of the wind at Portage la Prairie was published, but in Winnipeg it reached 84 miles per hour, and Portage, it was reported later, was in the middle and "was hit very heavily."
The residence of Mr. and Mrs. W. Spencer, on 12th Street, collapsed under the force of the wind and their infant daughter was crushed to death. Mrs. Spencer was badly injured.
Another house was rolled over, another pushed over onto its side, while still another was moved a foot off its foundation.
Main Street and Saskatchewan Avenue were littered with bricks, lumber, tin roofing and glass. The big two-storey building of the Cockshutt Plow Company was blown in and only a part of the side and end walls left standing.
The Presbyterian and Methodist Churches both suffered heavily, both being unroofed, and at Knox Church half of the roof was lifted and the organ found a resting place in the cellar.
The roof of the Merchan ts Hotel was torn completely off and part of it landed a block away, in front of the post office.
Numerous garages were blown over and in some cases collapsed, burying the cars beneath them. Few houses escaped without at least some minor damage.
At 7.20 a.m. the fire bell rang again. The Premier Grain Milling Company mill was on fire. It had been struck by lightning, tearing out a part of the building, and it was believed that it caused a fire that smouldered until it burst into flames. About 30,000 bushels of grain were destroyed along with the building.
The next day reports came in on damage in the rural area: <c •••• There is hardly a farm on the Portage Plains that does not show a wrecked building of some sort," reported The Graphic.
The Farmers' Mutual Insurance Company, for instance, received 300 claims for wind damage, for an estimated total of $85,000. The manager felt the claims would reach a quarter of a million dollars!
Many of the big barns north of the city were struck. The big, new barn of T. Wishart was demolished, as were the barns of A. Wishart and A. Muir.
For some strange reason, most of the farm houses escaped damage.
At Poplar Point, word was received that 15 barns were hit by the wind. And there was considerable damage in the town of Oakville.