THE WIND STORM YESTERDAY.; Great Excitement in the Harbor Damage to Shipping, &c. THE GALE IN THE CITY. IN BROOKLYN. IN WILLIAMSBURGH. IN JERSEY CITY.
Published: November 7, 1863 (New York Times) Yesterday afternoon the City and harbor was visited by one of the severest storms we have had in this locality for several years. About one o’clock a strong wind set in from the west, which in less than an hour increased to a violent gale. So suddenly did the storm come up that many of the craft in the harbor were entirely unprepared to meet it, and in consequence drifted about the Bay in the wildest confusion. Three lighters were dismasted on the North River, and a schooner, while trying to reach the Atlantic Docks, lost all her sails. The ship Atmosphere, bound for Liverpool, was struck by the gale, and although she was being towed by a powerful tug, went on to Coenties’ Reef. The vessel was subsequently got off without much damage. A man was capsized in a small boat near Governor’s Island, and it is supposed was drowned, as no one was seen to go to his assistance. The Russian steam “clipper,” (so ranked in the Russian navy,) Almaz dragged her anchor and came near going on shore at Castle Garden. Fortunately the vessel had steam up, which saved her from disaster.
The canal-boat E.B. Simons broke from her moorings, and when nearly on shore at Castle Garden was taken in tow by the tug William Foot, and saved from wreck. The most serious disaster that happened during the day was the sinking of lighter Norma by the Russian corvette Wariag. During the heighth of the gale the latter vessel broke from her anchorage, and before any assistance could be rendered drifted rapidly on to the bar at the foot of pier No. 13. Before striking the bar she came in collusion with several vessels, but did no considerable damage until she strock the Norma, which she sunk. The accident happened about 3 o’clock, and was preceded by the wildest excitement. It was thought the Wariag — one of the largest class of war vessels –would come in contact with and sink four or five small vessels in her way, and, as many of them were crowded with people, loss of life seemed imminent. Fortunately, however, the corvette, after sinking the Norma, struck on the bar and there remained. The Norma, at the time of the accident, was discharging freight on to the brig Cyprus. In the collision the Cyprus sustained some damage, as well as the propeller Thomas Swan, lying at the opposite pier. The Wariag lost a man overboard and one of her lifeboats; she was also slightly damaged in her rigging.
NYT 1863: The new propeller El Cid was in considerable danger at one time, but escaped without injury. The Wariag was finally got off, by the combined assistance of three tugs, and towed into the stream. During the storm, which did not abate its violence until near sundown, the Italian man-of-war Italia dragged her anchor and nearly went on shore. No further accidents of any importance have been reported. We shall probably hear today of many casualities outside of the harbor.
NYT 1863: During the entire afternoon pedestrians found it exceeding inconvenient, and sometimes dangerous, passing through the streets. Several signs were blown down on Broadway, and in the upper part of the City two or three new buildings suffered considerably. With the exception of mishaps to luckless individuals, who were obliged to seek shelter behind all sorts of structures, the falling of a few chimneys, and such other incidents of slight importance, there was nothing to mark the great “blow.”
NYT 1863: The wind yesterday not only filled the streets with clouds of dust, and proved a source of great inconvenience to pedestrians, but caused considerable damage throughout the City by the blowing down of fences, chimney-tops, awnings, trees, &c. Several buildings also were damaged, and two persons injured. The engine-house of No. 17, in Jay-street, near Willoughby, is undergoing repairs. The roof is being raised, and a new story added. The sidewalls had been erected, but the front and rear were still open. One of the end walls gave way, and fell with a tremendous crash upon the roof of an adjoining house, (No. 287,) occupied by Mrs. S.W. TOWNSEND as a boarding and day school.
There were some fifty scholars — young ladies engaged at their studies at the time, and the crash of falling bricks caused great consternation among them. It appeared as if the whole house was coming down. The roof, covering two attic rooms, was smashed in. One young lady, who felt unwell, was lying on a bed, and another was resting on a lounge; both were injured; one was cut on the head and the other sustained an injury of the spine; they were covered with rubbish, but managed to save themselves. The day scholars were on the lower floor, and escaped unhurt. The damage to the building amounts to about $100. The engine-house was injured to about the same amount. The wind blew with tremendous force in some exposed places. A car, in turning the corner of Prospect and Main streets, was blown off the track, but no further damage resulted. A frame house, No. 126 Meserole-street, was blown down by the gale. It was unoccupied. Damage about $500.
NYT 1863: The lofty hickory pole at the corner of North Fourth and Fourth streets, was blown down, and it came very near annihilating several horses. The same storm unroofed a house in First-street. Brooklyn, E.D., damaging it to a considerable extent. Near by two little children were under a wooden awning when it fell to the ground, but strange to say they were neither of them injured.
NYT 1863: A fatal accident occurred at the lumber yard of KEITH & Co., foot of North First-street, about 2 1/2 o’clock, to a teamster named MATHEW CONROY, in the employ of Messrs. JOHNSON & SPADER. The injured man was crushed by a pile of lumber blown over by the force of the wind, and so badly injured internally and about the head that it was the belief of several physicians he could not survive the night. He is married and resides in Kent-avenue, near Willoughby-street. Officer VAN DYKE took him home.
NYT 1863: As far as could be ascertained the only damage done in Jersey City was a considerable destruction to the trees and shrubbery. On the river, however, where the gale had clear scope, it was far different. The Russian war vessels dragged their anchors, and also the Italian war vessel, and for a while it appeared their course would not be arrested until they came against the docks on the New-York side; the second bow anchors were let go, and finally all the vessels came to except the Admiral’s, which went in stern first at Pier No. 13, New-York, crushing and carrving down a lighter which was lying at the dock.
NYT 1863: The Admiral’s ship was lying against the pier apparently aground, but did not seem to be injured. Steam was got up and two tug boats were employed, and eventually the vessel was hauled out.