By the morning of March 24, headlines reported news of the first devastating wave of weather that had first impacted Omaha, Nebraska (see last week’s article). A tornado later roared through Terra Haute with at least two dozen killed. Even though the articles reported at least ninety dead in Omaha and twenty-four in Terra Haute, the headlines proclaimed HUNDREDS KILLED:
Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Oklahoma had already been affected by the storm. By the time newspapers hit the streets on the 25th the death toll was being reported to have risen to 225 with over 750 injured. Damage estimates for Omaha were thought to be at least twelve million dollars.
The first story of flooding appeared on the 25th as well. After the tornado, Terra Haute was inundated with rain and flooding which caught both rural and city dwellers by surprise. Residents were already fleeing their homes as the flood waters surged. Thousands of acres of land were underwater with rivers and creeks out of their banks and levees breached. To prevent looting, the State Militia began boat patrols in devastated areas.
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