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STORM BRINGS DEATH, DELAY AND DARKNESS
Twenty-four hours’ battering by rain and gale-force winds left a huge slice of Southwestern Ontario in a state of havoc last night, and hour by hour the picture of damage and destruction grew grimmer.
Even before the midnight deadline set for Hurricane Hazel’s onslaught, millions of dollars’ damage had been caused to farms, homes, stores, railway tracks, bridges and highways.
A two-car collision in a driving rainstorm took the lives of two men and injured a third person near Marysville.
All trains between Toronto and points up to North Bay were at a standstill.
Deep washouts were reported in at least eight areas. In the middle of two washouts between Barrie, and North Bay, a trainload of cattle was marooned. Passengers and freight trains were signaled to halt to avoid weakened sections of track.
3 Feet Deep in Houses
Grand Valley, Oct. 16. – This village’s 27-man fire brigade will be working all night to rescue marooned south end residents cut off from the rest of the village by the Grand River, which flooded to almost record heights.
Shortly after 11 p.m., Chief Scotty McIntyre sent a truck around by the roads that are on high ground to get to Erin, about 10 miles away, to get boats. About 50 homes have been flooded; some have three feet of water on their ground floors.
Hydro men are out watching danger spots and cutting wires in flooded houses to prevent short-circuiting. In almost a third of the village, people are taking refuge on the second floor of their houses waiting for the firemen to come to the rescue.
Residents watched as the Grand River rose 10 inches in 20 minutes. By 10 p.m. it had topped its banks in several places and was still rising.
Tent City Wrecked
The edge of the hurricane wreaked heavy damage at the scene of the International Plowing March at Breslau.
After halting the competition during the day the storm early last night flattened many of the tents in the canvas city of displays and restaurants at the match site.
The tent city on the farm of John Randall, six miles east of Kitchener, was ripped to shreds as 65-mile-an-hour winds blew down at least 100 tents and left most of the remaining 150 a mess of tangled canvas.
Loss is expected to run to $500,000. The tents, most of which are owned by six Ontario tent companies, cost on an average of $2,000 each.
One tent, housing a Department of Lands and Forests exhibit, fell on caged animals in the exhibit.
An eight-man crew in charge of the tents took shelter in the steel headquarters building as the intensity of the storm increased. They said they would have to stay there until morning because of the danger of fallen hydro wires.
Prize cattle worth $20,000 in the Waterloo County tent were moved out this afternoon when warnings of the storm were increased.
Early tomorrow officials plan to make some attempt to repair the damage and carry on for at least part of the day. It is doubtful, however, if anything other than a tractor will be able to enter the grounds in the morning.
Waves Batter Meaford
Meaford, Oct. 15- The worst storm in the history of this shoreline community ripped in off Georgian Bay tonight to batter ships in the harbor, sink small boats and send waves bursting over breakwaters to roll over waterfront streets.
Water was lapping at the flooring of the Bakery Bridge - one of the town’s two main structures - over the Big Head River and town officials were afraid it would crash down during the night.
Huge seas sweeping in from northeast turned a 50-foot barge into a battering ram in the outer harbor but seamen finally were able to secure it to a dock. The tug Helen Hindman and the barge Mary Hindman raced into mooring just before the storm struck.
In the inner harbor several small boats went down beneath the power of the waves. Roads leading from the harbor to the main street were awash with waves breaking over the revetment wall.
Veteran guide Gordon Johnson said it was the worst in the history of the district. It showed no signs of abating at 10 o’clock.
Four downtown Barrie streets were barricaded off by police tonight as floodwaters swirled down them. A 30-foot wide river covered one of the streets to a depth of almost a foot.
Fifteen-foot waves crashed through the entire front of the Richardson Boat Works and swept through the workshop. A 26-foot sailboat broke loose and disappeared in the inner harbor. It was either smashed to pieces or sunk.
All the docks were swept away by the fury of the storm. Damage is expected to be tremendous, said one town official.
Saugeen Up 7½ Feet
The Saugeen River, fed by heavy rains for the last two weeks, spilled over its banks in low-lying areas late last night and began seeping into basements on the main street of Walkerton.
At midnight the river was 7½ feet above its normal level and was rising 10 inches an hour. It was the fastest rise since 1948 when the Saugeen swelled to 11½ feet, flooding scores of homes and stores. Residents of the community 35 miles south-west of Owen Sound feared that more rain would bring flooding to the whole lower part of the town.
Basements of several homes were flooded to a depth of four feet, and three feet of water covered the rail tracks leading into the town.
North of Barrie, OPP crews were called to clear small landslides blocking lanes of Highways 26 and 27.
Near Kitchener, where the day-long rainfall of 3.21 inches was the heaviest on record for an October day, both the Grand and Conestogo rivers had overflowed their banks late last night.
Water covered several roads and OPP officers at Kitchener warned motorist not use the highways unless absolutely essential.
About 30 persons were taken off a Gray Coach bus bound for Kitchener when the bus bogged down in five feet of water in the middle of a half-mile lake on No. 5 Highway east of Highway 27.
A truck was used to remove the passengers and driver. Near the bus a car was covered with water to within a few inches of the top. The bus passengers were later picked up by another bus.
Most areas had reported an inch or more of rain by early last night.
Traffic jams built up in most towns and cites. Cellars were flooded everywhere.
Parts of Oshawa were plunged into darkness as the storm brought down hydro lines and damaged electrical equipment.
Radio station CKLB was off the air for five minutes just before 6 p.m. A large tree toppled in the high winds and brought down the station’s 220-volt power line.
Police Chief Hebert Flintoff said his men were unable to cope with the number of reports of fallen hydro lines and uprooted trees. Only emergency calls were being handled early tonight.
All available fire department units were out standing guard over fallen power lines and dealing with small fires started by short-circuits.
In Belleville, power failures in the downtown area capped a day of continuous rain.
Late-night shopping came to a standstill as lights in stores and along the streets were doused. The power failure hit the offices of the Bell Telephone Co. and for a period no incoming or outgoing long-distance calls could be made.
Movie houses in Belleville shut down partway through their programs when fallen hydro lines robbed them of power. Beverage rooms were also in darkness and closed long before midnight.
Many who went home to spend the rest of the evening watching TV found that power failures had blacked out their own houses.
Outside Belleville, fallen trees blocked Highways 2 and 14.
At Kingston, where OPP were warning motorists not to use the highways, several trees five feet in diameter came crashing down in the high winds.
Lindsay Without Power
Near Lindsay, the hamlet of Janetville was without power after a break in the line north of Port Perry, Sections of Lindsay, particularly the South Ward were also without power.
Hydro crews were working from late afternoon to restore service where lines had been carried away by falling trees and branches. On the highways farmers were aiding police to clear trees that blocked traffic.
Firemen with two pumper units planned to work through the night if necessary to lift the water out of Lindsay basements. They were also called to fight two minor fires – one of them in the crossbeam of a hydro pole felled by a tree.