Saint Cloud Tornado Saint Paul Citizen Response

“Since looking over the ground at Sauk Rapids,” said a citizen yesterday.  “I have no doubt that a cyclone has the power to do a work of terrible destruction even in a city so large as St. Paul, and if one should strike this city I don’t know where the people would fly for protection.  In a small town of frame buildings, cellars offer a place of safety, as the houses are generally swept away, but here I think the cellars would be the worst place persons could seek for shelter, since the heavy walls would bury them.

The Saint Paul Daily Globe
Wednesday Morning, April 21, 1886
Volume VIII, Number 111, Page 2


A resident of West St. Paul is very apprehensive lest a cyclone should visit this city.  He has always experienced great fear about tornadoes, but his fright has been greatly intensified since the recent cyclone disaster at Sauk Rapids and St. Cloud.  The least evidence of a wind scare him into a state of inactivity, while a blow with a threatening bank of clouds drives him into the cellar.

For two days he has spent the better part of his time down in the cold, moist and disagreeable cellar and when out of the improvised protection against a cyclone has seated himself hear the door of the cellar, so as to be ready on the slightest excuse to go below.

While he was momentarily above ground a neighbor, who, knowing his weakness, had determined to tease him, dropped in.  The conversation soon drifted to cyclones and the best place to avoid its death-dealing force.

“The cellar is good enough for me,” remarked the man-afraid-of-a-storm, as he looked anxiously out of the window as if to reassure himself that no storm was in progress, “and, at the first evidence of a cyclone, I shall get down in the cellar.”

“The poorest place you get,” said the neighbor.  “If the house is blown down the rafters and wreck will bury a man in the cellar.  No cellar for me.  I will run for an open space and take my chances in dodging things as they go by me.”

At that point the wind, which had been blowing very fresh and strong, came along in puffs of unusual violence, slamming shutters and doors and making considerable noise.  “It’s coming, for your lives!” yelled a mischievous member of the family.

Two men dashed down in the cellar and remained there for some time.  One was the occupant of the house and the other was the visiting neighbor.

The Saint Paul Daily Globe
Sunday Morning, April 25, 1886
Volume VIII, Number 115, Page 4

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