‘A city laid waste’

It was 88 years ago today that Gainesville was torn apart and scores of lives lost. It’s commonly known as the Tornado of ’36 and resulted in a book by William Brice titled “A City Laid Waste.”

The National Weather Service (NWS) Peachtree City office noted the anniversary of the twister on its website this morning:

“In 1936, the deadliest tornado in Georgia state history and possibly one of the worst in U.S. history hit Hall County.

The F-4 tornado packed winds up to 260 mph, killed 203 people and injured 934 others. Almost a fourth of the deaths came from fires that burned after the storm struck the city.

Although it significantly impacted the business district of Gainesville, the residential area also sustained major damage. Over 500 homes were destroyed and nearly 750 were damaged.

Debris piles in the city streets reached 8 to 10 feet in some areas.”