Experience with a Cyclone.
On Tuesday of last week the World’s Fair grounds were visited by a cyclone which did about $30,000 damage. The buildings which received the worst of the shock were the Illinois State Building and the pumping station. The storm burst in its fury at ten minutes before seven in the morning, and it was at this hour that the damage was done. Had the cyclone appeared an hour and a half later, when the men were at work, a large loss of life would have been inevitable.
This damage was chiefly confined to the Illinois State Building and will amount to $15,000 on that structure. The staging and the derrick surrounding it had been built up to a height of 137 feet in the centre of the building, where the tower is located. This staging and the derrick were blown down entirely, removing about sixty-five feet of the upper portion of the tower. It is estimated by the contractor that between 37,000 and 40,000 feet of lumber were thus precipitated. Had not the building been properly planned and strongly built it would have lain in almost total ruins. One of the iron arches supporting the roof was sprung considerably, and had not its fastenings been secured it would have toppled over against a long row of others, completely demolishing the roof of the eastern end of the building.
The pumping station, which was built of brick, had reached a height of fifty feet. The building was 70 x 70 feet, the walls being from sixteen to twenty inches in thickness. When the cyclone struck it the walls were crushed like egg shells and the entire structure fell to the ground, the only portion that was left standing being a small portion of the northern wall. It is estimated that about 70,000 feet of brick were thus overthrown. The loss on this will amount to about $12,000.
A staging forty-five feet high on another building was wrenched from its fastenings and hurled a distance of about fifteen feet. Posts and stagings were thrown down at Machinery Ilall, creating a damage of $500.
I he storm took away everything that was loose on the grounds and crushed many panes of glass in the skylights of the Mining Building.
The only explanation of the fact that more damage was not done seems to lie in the assumption that the storm was a regular cyclone, possessing all the freaks of that mysterious power. Had it been a common tornado other buildings in the patli of the storm would have suffered, and in that case the damage would have amounted tc several hundred thousand dollars.