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Conflict And Struggle

City Devastated, Hundreds Homeless
And Hospitals Unable To Contain The Injured
Churches And Public Buildings Destroyed

Saskatoon Daily Star
July 1, 1912. p.1

Regina, July 1. Regina is today a city of gloom. A cyclone struck the city last night before five o'clock and in less than three minutes had left a path of devastation over three blocks wide and two miles long from North to South.

Thirty-one bodies have been so far recovered and most of these identified. Though thirty-one at present are the only known dead, it is believed that the list will reach the total of fifty and possibly more.

Nothing definite will be known until the wreckage has been cleared.

The property loss is placed at $5,000,000 and most of it's total loss as few were insured against cyclones.

The injured run over 250, many fatally, and there are today three thousand homeless.

Those who watched the progress of the storm say that two clouds swept towards the City from the South-east and the other from the South-west. They clashed, and a whirling dark cyclone funnel-like storm swept North across the city, striking the city at Wascana Lake.

The force of the storm is almost unbelievable. Houses were leveled, churches demolished, great warehouses overturned, some houses have pieces of timber driven clean through the roofs.

The north end district, which is thickly populated by foreigners has been swept absolutely clean. Nothing is left of whole blocks but the foundations and the ruins of houses have strewn the prairies for miles around.

How any one has escaped alive at all is a miracle.

The Immigration Hall, R.H. William's Warehouse, The New Canadian Northern Freight Sheds and St. Paul's Parish Church are being used by hundreds of people, rich and poor, also the schools as refugee camps. The storm wrought the greatest havoc in the residential district, the railway yards, where there is hardly a car on the tracks, a number being lifted clear of the tracks -- the Wholesale district at the North end district, the foreigners section and a portion the business section. Fully five hundred houses are absolutely wrecked, mostly nothing remains of these but a mass of tumbling walls and wrecked furniture. The best houses on the banks of Wascana Lake at the South edge of the city, was the first place struck. Several men who were standing on the wreck of the boathouse saw a member of their party thrown into the whirling vortex and lifted clean into the middle of the park.

He was injured but not seriously. Several persons were said to be out on the lake in canoes at the time the storm struck but no one seems to know their fate.

The storm swept down Cornwall, Lorne, Smith and MacIntyre streets where the best residences of the city were located. These are now an unrecognizable wreck; whole blocks are leveled absolutely clean.

The sixty girls at the Y.W.C.A. at the time of the storm had a miraculous escape. One side of the building is torn out, the roof was whirled away and the windows were blown in and most of the furniture wrecked.

The Y.W.C.A. building is completely wrecked. The dormitory is in ruins and there are rumors that several were killed.

The two hundred thousand dollar metropolitan Methodist church is but a mass of twisted timbers, stone and smashed brick.

The heaviest individual loss to any one citizen is that sustained by Mayor H. W. Laird, who lost his home, his big forwarding company warehouse and his wholesale house. His loss is estimated at $125,000.

The Sunday schools were only dismissed about half an hour before the storm, otherwise the loss of child life would have been enormous. The Metropolitan Methodist church and the Presbyterian church being a mass of ruins. Two men were seeking shelter from the storm under the north wall of the Presbyterian church, one of whom was killed and the other seriously injured.

Among those suffering total or partial loss of homes are the following -- Norman MacKenzie, Kalso Hunter, H. W. Laird, T. B. Patton, James Balfour, Judge Lamont, Jabel Robinson, Premier Scott, L. W. Jackson, A. E. Whitmore, W. Moore, Henry Salt, Mr. Cresswell, Mr. Collinson, Roman Catholic Bishops Palace, Mr. Ribble, A. F. Angus, James Hindson, A. J McPherson, J. A. Anderson, W. F. Kerr, F. Geo. Wheat, A. J. Gibson, Methodist Parsonage, Presbyterian Manse, and F. H. Gordon's residence.

On the north side, where many of the laboring classes live, the scene is heartrending.

Outside the ruined houses are to be seen families grouped looking at what was left of their happy homes. The children are crying to their parents who were stunned by the catastrophe.