Storm Does Big Damage

May 9, 1929

Six Deaths In Maryland As Result of “Twister” Last Thursday Night — Heavy Wind In Sykesville

Six deaths occurred in Maryland as the result of a tornado which swept over eleven States last Thursday afternoon and night. Thousands of dollars worth of property damage was done, houses demolished, crops ruined, 1,500 telephones put out of commission and all streams flooded. The storm began with a heavy fall of rain, thunder and lightning. About 8 p.m. a terrific blast of wind mowed a tornado-like path about 300 yards wide through Frederick and Montgomery Counties.

At Harmony Grove, about two miles north of Frederick, the full fury of the storm was felt, and the home of Mr. and Mrs. John J. Shank was utterly destroyed, killing Mrs. Shank and injuring her husband so badly that he died later in the Frederick hospital.

The old Winfield Scott Schley mansion was next in the path of the storm, and its occupants, Mr. and Mrs. John W. Fout, who were on the second floor, were blown 100 years into a neighboring field and injured.

At Laytonsville, the entire family of Bowie Childs were gathered in the living room when the roof was torn away and the walls pushed in. Three of his family were killed by falling rafters and the others severely injured.

The farms around Ellicott City were particularly hard hit. The house of Charles Haight, near Glenwood, was destroyed together with all his farming machinery, automobile, etc., and his mother-in-law, Mrs. Knapp, was killed. Others in the vicinity of Glenwood who suffered losses were Roland Banks, Daniel Gaither, William H. Stinson and C.D. Snead. Everything on the farm of Roland Banks was destroyed but the house, the storm passing over the top of the house. A $5,000 barn was totally wrecked, but owing to the fact that the stock was in the barnyard, they were saved. Machinery and all outbuildings were destroyed and Mr. Banks estimates his loss at $12,000 with no insurance. All the trees in the yard were uprooted.

The storm skipped certain sections, Southern Maryland and the northeastern section of the State feeling no unusually severe effects.

At Rye Cove, Virginia, a school house collapsed, killing 12 children and a teacher.

The waters of the Potomac and the Monocacy Rivers were driven over fields and roads in Western Maryland.

After the storm subsided the residents of the sections hardest hit were busy hunting through wheat and other fields for articles of clothing and furniture which were carried away by the wind. Cedar chests, furniture, pictures and other articles, were strewn about. A number of people from this locality visited the stricken sections and stated that they would never have believed such havoc possible. An automobile was even picked up by the wind and hurled against a tree.

Sykesville was very fortunate in receiving nothing more than a hard wind and heavy rain. The town lights were put out of commission about 11 o’clock, causing some inconvenience to the people who had attended the play at the Lyceum, and who were forced to go home in the dark.

On the farm of “Dick” Bennett, near Berrett, large pieces of a metal garage were found Saturday, blown there from “somewhere” in the storm sections.

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