Friday, January 16, 2009

The day a F4 tornado hit Wallingford Conneticut

The day a F4 tornado hit Wallingford Conneticut



Greetings. In this 1878 paper I found a article on a tornado disaster that I was not aware of. In 1953 a massive tornado hit Worcester MA which is now the deadliest tornado to hit New England. This Connecticut tornado had that title until then.

If you look at this chart from the USA TODAY, it is not unusual when tornado's hit this area, but it is at this magnitude. The article below is slightly difficult to read - it is transcribed below at the end of this post. Also there are some interesting photos and engravings below of the disaster.

The Wallingford Tornado was the deadliest tornado ever to strike the state of Connecticut, and the second deadliest ever in New England. It struck the town of Wallingford, Connecticut on August 9, 1878. The violent tornado destroyed most of the town, killing 34 people and injuring at least 70, many severely.[1] The tornado started as a waterspout over Community Lake, just west of town.

It then moved through the center of town along Christian Street, damaging almost every structure as it went. The tornado tore houses from their foundations, throwing some more than 600 feet (180 meters).

A receipt from the town was later found 65 miles (105 km) east in Peacedale, Rhode Island.[2]A district schoolhouse was converted into a temporary morgue immediately after the storm; 21 bodies were discovered and placed there that night. One person was found dead 3300 feet (1 km) from where he had been standing.[3]More than 50 special police were sworn in to prevent looting, and to control the crowds of curious onlookers who had come by train from surrounding cities.[4]


Great Loss of Life and ProperlyHouses, Barns and Trees Hurled tothe Ground.Wallingford, Conn, AUG 9, A terribletornado passed over Wallingford about sixo'clock this afternoon, and blew overhouses, uprooted trees, and caused thegreatest devastation. It is estimated thatthe killed will number at present at leastwhile the wounded will reach twicethat number.

Telegraph wires and poleswere blown down, making it impossible; tocommunicate with New Haven or thesouth or Meriden or Hartford to the north.Word was finally sent by the up 7 o'clocktrain to the two latter places, and on thenext down express, which leaves Meridenat 7:30 o'clock. came physicians and help.

The greatest excitement prevails, and thewildest rumors are afloat as to the loss oflife. The tornado was confined to a belt ofterritory about half a mile wide, and thewhole loss of life took place on the sandplains about a quarter mile north of therailroad station, near the line of the NewYork, New Haven and Hartford Railroad.At 6 o'clock, while the men were leaving the factory, a gentle rain began to fall, andsoon increased to a perfect deluge, whilealmost continuous arid vivid lightningilluminated the darkened sky as bright asday, and the thunder rolled with an unceasingand deafening roar.

Without warning,the tornado, with hail and rain, sweptacross the northern part of the town, fromwest to cast, anti everything movable in itscourse was carried away. It seemed to lastbut a moment, but the results were fright-ful.

Afterward a light rain fell, and thissoon ceased, and at 8 o'clock the moonshone brightly down upon a scene of desolation.By actual count, forty dwellinghouses were demolished, and at least fifty barns.


What the storm has wrought’
By Paulita RoaPast Speaks

THE recent flood that hit Cagayan de Oro in the early morning of Saturday, January 3, 2009 brought back stories that old families had of a bigger deluge that happened 93 years ago on January, 1916. A strong typhoon brought continuous heavy rain for three days (some said that it rained for 16 days) to the town. The Kagay-anons found this unusual for Cagayan then was never visited by typhoons.

Arroyo Watch: Sun.Star blog on President Arroyo [1]

In that 1916 typhoon, the Cagayan River overflowed its banks. The waters entered the cogon areas of Macasandig, past the coconut grooves till it reached Camaman-an and the present site of the Cogon public market. In the Poblacion, all of Divisoria and Pabayo St. (then known as Calle Nueva), were underwater. Residents had to navigate around that area by boats. Many people died or went missing during the flood including a great number of animals. Farmlands were leveled and crops destroyed.

When the flood waters receded, the town smelled from the stench of the rotting animal carcasses. There was a severe lack of potable drinking water and sanitation was a big problem.

Then cholera came and spread throughout Cagayan.

At that time, a young 32 year old American named Dr. Frank Laubach was living in Cagayan with his wife Effa, a nurse, and their sons in Calle Burgos near the river. He was the first missionary sent to establish a mission station here by the American Presbyterian Board. The two chapels that he built in Bonbon and in Barra were washed away by the flood. The Laubachs did all they can to help the sick and the grieving families. He also dispatched his group of young people to the Municipio to assist in sending information on ways to sanitize their houses to prevent cholera from spreading.

Cholera then turned into epidemic proportions and many people were dying daily. A relative recalled that his granduncle attended the funeral of a cholera victim and 24 hours later, he also died of the same disease and was buried at once. The death count was so high that corpses were placed in carromatas and were buried on mass graves far away from Cagayan. A pall of heavy grief could be felt for each family lost a relative or two from cholera. It is said that after witnessing the twin tragedies, Dr. Laubach, known as a man of piety and prayer, got on his knees and dedicated the town to the most Almighty God.

Ninety three years later, another big flood visited Cagayan de Oro. Rev. Alex Eduave told his congregation that they still have to be thankful to the Lord for the deluge came early in the morning and the damage was not as massive as the 1916 flood. Had this happened at night, the calamity would have been of tragic proportions for hundreds would have died or gone missing. Many agreed with the observation of Mayor Constantino Jaraula that since much of our forests have been converted to farmlands, there are now very few big trees that can protect the city from the floods.

We need to take the necessary steps now in order to prevent a tragedy similar to the one that befell Ormoc years ago from happening here. Though the recent flood was traumatic to many of us, it was also a way of reminding us that we have to do something about our almost denuded forests before it is too late. We need to have a viable environmental program with the active participation of the citizenry so our lives, and our city as well, can be saved from another big natural disaster.


Fishermen question rescue response
Gloucester tragedy remains a mystery

By Stephanie Ebbert and Brian R. Ballou, Globe Staff January 9, 2009

GLOUCESTER - As Gloucester lay to rest two fishermen who died in a mysterious accident at sea, their fellow seamen raised concerns about a published report that said the Coast Guard did not launch a search-and-rescue mission for more than 2 1/2 hours after it was alerted that the vessel was in trouble.

The Coast Guard command in Boston did not begin searching for the missing boat, called the Patriot, until nearly 4 a.m. on Saturday, the Gloucester Times reported yesterday. The Fire Department had responded to a 1:17 a.m. fire alarm broadcast by the boat, discovered that the Patriot was not at port, and contacted the wife of one of the fishermen, who said he was out at sea. She then contacted the Coast Guard for help.

Coast Guard Captain Gail Kulisch, commander of the Coast Guard Sec tor in Boston, would not confirm the timeline at a news conference last night, where she said repeatedly that the Coast Guard had responded immediately but had to follow an established protocol for its response. Though the Coast Guard is conducting a case study of its response - as is routine in fatalities - the command was ready and reacted quickly, she said.

"They are always poised. They are guardians," Kulisch said. "We joined to save lives. That's what we do and we take this business very, very seriously."

The Coast Guard has learned that another vessel was in the area at the time of the accident and is investigating whether there was a collision or whether anyone witnessed what happened to the Patriot, she said.

Kulisch said the case was unusual because it was triggered by a fire alarm on the vessel and reported by a fisherman's wife. The Patriot had a device that sends out a signal in an emergency showing its location, but it did not work until hours later, when the Coast Guard was already at the scene, she said.

A Coast Guard commander told the Gloucester Times on Wednesday that the agency could not launch a response effort without knowing the boat's approximate location. But the Patriot was equipped with a vessel-monitoring system that lets the Coast Guard track its location. Since November 2006, fishermen have been required to use those tracking devices so the government can keep tabs on their whereabouts and guard against overfishing. The Patriot had broadcast signals of its location as recently as 12:30 a.m. Saturday, the Times reported.

Kulisch said that whatever happened to the Patriot appeared to have been quick: The men, both experienced fishermen, were not wearing survival gear they had on board.

Yesterday, fishermen and a lawyer who represents them questioned whether the technology used so readily by the Coast Guard to penalize fishermen for straying into protected waters could have been used more effectively to try to save the two fishermen lost at sea.

"It's kind of like wearing an ankle monitoring bracelet, so they know where you are at all times," said Stephen M. Ouellette, a lawyer whose primarily represents fishermen. "It's always tough to second-guess these people, but they spend so much time and energy chasing fishermen down for violations."

It was unclear yesterday whether the time lost would have made a difference to the fishermen in the frigid water of the Middle Bank, 15 miles off Gloucester. But some fishermen said they found the Coast Guard's response time troubling.

"The whole sinking is a mystery to begin with, but the response is rather distressing for those of us who have to rely upon the system," said Paul Cohan of Beverly, who fishes out of Gloucester.

Investigators have not determined what caused the Patriot, a well-kept, 54-foot, steel-hulled trawler, to founder. The owner, Matteo Russo, was killed along with his father-in-law and fishing partner, John Orlando. Kulisch said the Coast Guard is trying to restrict the area around the sunken boat, but the family wants to hire its own divers to investigate.

At the fishermen's funeral yesterday in Gloucester, the close-knit fishing community filled Saint Ann Church, leaving only standing room. Several men with gray facial stubble and in heavy winter jackets sat among the crowd and whispered in Italian, shaking their heads from side to side as they looked at the coffins.

Family, friends, and well-wishers paid respects to Russo, a 36-year-old father whose wife is expecting a second child, and Orlando, a 58-year old father of two.

The Rev. Ronald Gariboldi told the approximately 700 mourners that he was approached by Russo's mother moments before the funeral began. Josephine Russo looked at him with teary eyes and said her son's death was a mystery.

The service was laden with references to the industry that has characterized Gloucester. A prayer was made for those who go out to sea and those who wait for them on shore. The Gloucester Times reported that the Coast Guard in Boston, before launching a search, ordered its Gloucester station to double-check the Fire Department's conclusion that the boat was not in the port. That cost an hour, the newspaper reported.

The Times also reported that the search was delayed while officials at the Coast Guard command in Boston tried to contact the crew of the Patriot by phone and e-mail, after the wife of one of the men said he was not answering calls. A dispatcher also called the boat's former owner, who told him it had been sold, according to the Times.

Study Evaluates U.S. Maritime Policies

The Maritime Administration has issued a new study that evaluates the adequacy of current U.S. maritime policy to meet the commercial, economic, security and environmental needs of the nation over the next three decades.The report titled, ìAn Evaluation of Maritime Policy in Meeting the Commercial and Security Needs of the United States,î was researched and prepared by IHS Global Insight, Inc., of Lexington, Mass.

The 72-page report finds that current U.S. maritime policy only supports Americaís domestic maritime trades and is not supportive of U.S. participation in the international trades. However, the study also advises that possible reforms in national policy may lend more support to the U.S. maritime industry.Maritime Administrator Sean T. Connaughton said, It is clear that marine transportation is the most important mode of transportation for future growth of the U.S. economy; but current U.S. policy does not seem to reflect the importance of this modeóand for America to succeed, it must.

To help create a more robust marine transportation system, Administrator Connaughton continues to advise U.S. policymakers that government support of the freight transport system must anticipate and respond to potential shipping bottlenecks that cause delays and undermine regional and national economic growth.

The main task for policymakers, he says, is to ensure that the maritime system will have adequate capacity and reliability to transport ever increasing volumes of cargo and numbers of people in an efficient and environmentally sound manner.

The full report and its findings are available online at Maritime Administration web site,


Bill introduced re ocean and coastal observations

Senator Snowe (R-ME) introduced the Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act of 2009 (S. 171) to develop and maintain an integrated system of coastal and ocean observations for the Nation's coasts, oceans, and Great Lakes, to improve warnings of tsunami, hurricanes, El Nino events, and other natural hazards, to enhance homeland security, to support maritime operations, to improve management of coastal and marine resources, and for other purposes. (1/8/09).

Messing About In Ships Podcast

Have a really super weekend and ...STAY WARM!


UPDATE -Dangerous Wind Chills Through Friday Morning

Dangerous Wind Chills Through Friday Morning


A wind chill warning remains in effect for all of northern Illinois and northwest Indiana through Friday morning for very dangerous wind chills of 25 below to 40 below.

Some improvement is expected by Friday afternoon as air temperatures warm above zero. Please refer to the following for the latest information on the wind chill warning.


Wind Chill Warning information
NWS Chicago Winter Weather Page

CURRENT CONDITIONS ---------------------------------------------------

Illinois Current Wind Chill Values, Temperatures, and Wind Speeds
Indiana Current Wind Chill Values, Temperatures, and Wind Speeds

REFERENCES ---------------------------------------------------------------

Winter Weather Definitions:

Wind Chill Warning - Extreme wind chills of -30oF or colder.A Wind Chill Warning is issued when the wind chill will be less than or equal to -30oF AND winds greater than or equal to 10 mph.

Wind Chill Advisory - Dangerous wind chills of -20oF to -30oF.A Wind Chill Advisory will be issued when the wind chill is less than or equal to -20oF AND the winds are greater than or equal to 10 mph.

Wind Chill Temperature Chart Click here for a Wind Chill Calculator

Additional References
Extreme Cold: A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety
Cold Weather Survival Guide -
Key to battling cold: Dress warmly, experts say
Preparation key, say residents of chilliest cities

City Of Chicago
City of Chicago Warming and Cooling Centers
Where to Go for Safety in Extreme Heat or Cold

During extreme cold or hot weather, the City of Chicago offers these six warming and cooling centers. Call 311 to learn more or to schedule free transportation to the centers.

Need Transportation? CALL 3-1-1!

North Area Center
4740 North Sheridan Rd.
Chicago, IL 60640

Trina Davila Center
4345-47 West Armitage Ave.
Chicago, IL 60639

Garfield Center
10 S. Kedzie Ave.
Chicago, IL 60612

King Center
4314 South Cottage Grove Ave.
Chicago, IL 60653

Englewood Center
845 W. 69th St.
Chicago, IL 60621

South Chicago Center
8759 S. Commercial Ave.
Chicago, IL 60617

Keep posted to the NWS CHICAGO (KLOT) website for updates on this very dangerous weather condition.