On March 25, 1897, heavy winds lash at Puget Sound with gusts reaching at least 68 mph on Whidbey Island. Tacoma sees 50 mph winds for five hours. In Seattle, the wind breaks 17 windows in a downtown school and lifts a schoolboy off the ground.
The draw-span of the Eleventh Street Bridge in Tacoma blew open, interrupting traffic. The aging, 150-foot-long Merchants' Dock in Seattle collapsed into Elliott Bay and the Elliott Bay Yacht Club building was wrecked. Stern-wheel steamers that normally served Puget Sound cities remained in port for safety. In This City of Ours, J. Willis Sayre writes that in Seattle streetcars could not make headway against the wind and at one point the passengers got out and pushed their streetcar around the corner of Occidental Avenue and Jackson Street.
J. Willis Sayre, This City of Ours (Seattle: Seattle School District No. 1, 1936), 73; "Forty Miles an Hour," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 26, 1897, p. 1.
Note: This file was expanded on September 14, 2004.
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