August 25, 1933

Plane Speeds To Islands Still Cut Off

Nine From Baltimore Get Off Ship

2 Other Marylanders Safely Taken From City of Norfolk with Rest of Passengers-Virginian Praises Skipper

Carries Baby From Battered Craft; Voyagers Played Bridge Awaiting Aid

A mounting toll of fifty dead was counted today in the widespread and battered wake of the runaway hurricane now blowing itself out in the valley of the St. Lawrence after a devastating rush along the Atlantic seaboard from Cape Hatteras northward.

The passengers on the Chesapeake Line steamer City of Norfolk, on the bay since Tuesday with the vessel on a mouth in Potomac Sound, reached Norfolk aboard the City of Baltimore during the day.

Coast Guard cutters put out to seek the missing motorship Solarina, with twelve aboard, off the Carolina coast and unsighted since the hurricane.

Apparently complete reports showed thirteen storms dead in Maryland.

Property damage in the seaboard States on which the hurricane visited its fury was estimated at $3,000,000.

A seaplane put out from the Naval Academy today for a flight to a group of islands in the Chesapeake Bay to learn whether the inhabitants were in need of outside aid. Naval craft were reported ready to carry food and medical supplies if thew plane discovers the islanders in distress

The passengers landed in Norfolk from the City of Norfolk related harrowing experiences during more than thirty hours while the vessel was grounded.

Associated Press dispatches today said the City of Baltimore picked up the thirty-two passengers early this morning from her sister ship which went aground during Wednesday's terrific storm while en route from Baltimore to Norfolk.

Crew Stays Aboard

With the exception of Purser Keely and his assistant, R.H. Bland, waiters and stewardess, the remaining thirty-odd members of the crew of the City of Norfolk remained aboard, as she is in no immediate danger of breaking up on the hard bottom of the mouth of the Pocomoke river. NO news is available as yet as to plans to float the liner, which is in ten feet of water.

  More coverage 1933: No. 8
The storm caused severe flooding in the Chesapeake Bay and created the inlet at Ocean City.

1972: AgnesThis storm also caused severe flooding problems and ranks as the sixth costliest tropical storm to hit the U.S. mainland ($2.1 billion in 1990 dollars).

SunSpot hurricane tracker
Track five historical storms -- two that hit Maryland (Agnes in 1972 and No. 8 in 1933) and three that devastated other parts of the country (Andrew in 1992, Hugo in 1989 and No. 1 in 1900).

The tugs Helen and Peerless established contact with the stranded steamer shortly before midnight last night but they were unable to get within a quarter of a mile of the steamer.

Steaming swiftly along through the starlight night, the City of Baltimore sighted two lights dead ahead at about 2:45 A.M. and at 4 A.M.. Capt. C.L. Brooks and his crew as well as many passengers received an answering signal from the City of Norfolk.

As day was breaking Captain Brooks ordered lifeboats lowered. Without further incident the passengers and several members of the crew were brought to their rescue craft.

"We are well and unharmed," said Burwell Wimmer as he and his family clambered about the City of Baltimore on the quarterdeck. His tiny baby was clasped in his arms while his wife saw that the other children were taken from the lifeboat. Mr. Wimmer, in common with all the rescued passengers, were in high in their praises of Capt. Edward James, whose skill in navigation is credited with saving the City of Norfolk from destruction.

Played Bridge

According to the varied stories told by the stranded ship's passengers, those on the boat spent their time in playing bridge and wondering how quickly aid would reach them. A number of boats passed near the grounded ship, but the storm prevented it being reached until that feat was made possible by the lifeboats of the City of Baltimore.

"I've got my work cut out for me and that is about all I can say at the present time," said A. L. Stephens, president of the Chesapeake Line, who left Baltimore last night on the City of Baltimore and was active in the work of rescue this morning.

Nine from Baltimore

Passengers on the City of Norfolk, all of whom are uninjured, follow:

Mr. and Mrs. Burwell Wimmer; Elizabeth Anne, 3; Burwell, 5; and Elaine Wimmer, 4 months old, of Hickory, Va.

R. R. Horsley, Newport News.

Mrs. J. H. Morgan, Fort Monroe.

H.W. Schlottemeer, Trenton, N.J.

Mrs. Sarah Vickers and son, Robert 2d, Baltimore.

Mrs. G. B. Welsh, Washington, D.C.

Miss Ava Techudin, New York city.

Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Weltyr; daughter, Anna Bess, 12; and Frederick 3d, 15, of Philadelphia.

Mrs. Bryce W. Blair, Barbara Blair, 9; Bryce, 5; and Miss Betty Blair, 15; all of Baltimore.

J. W. Shank, Williamsport, Pa.

William L. Dodson, Baltimore.

Henry Bosman and his mother, Mrs. Katherine M. Bosman, Lancaster, Pa.

John R. Turrentine, Jr., Williamson, N.C.

Elbert M. Jordan, Middle River, Md.

Charles D. Blough, Philadelphia.

Piankatank Captain Tells of Liner's Battle

The first story of the terrific battle between the elements and the Chesapeake Steamship Company's ship City of Norfolk was received here today through S. D. Hall, captain of the B. C. and O. Steamer Piankatank.

Captain Hall brought the Piankatank up to his Light street pier and immediately went down to the Chesapeake Steamship Company's offices nearby.

Talked To Mate

Captain Hall took the Piankatank within a mile of the spot where the City of Norfolk is aground at the mouth of Pocomok sound about noon yesterday, he said. He has previously seen the ship's mate in Anacock, Va., and had received a partial description o f the fight made by Capt. Edward James to keep his ship afloat and out of danger.

About midnight Tuesday, it was reported, the City of Norfolk ran into the storm. She fought her way through it, but at Wolf trap her officers decided to turn back. Visibility was zero, with the rain falling in sheets and the wind blowing a gale. The ship ran to the eastward in an effort to obtain the shelter afforded by the Eastern Shore. Captain James anchored her in four fathoms of water. Both lines snapped.

Drifts For Hours

For a number o hours she drifted, her officers constantly checking their depth and seeking to keep her off shore. At noon Wednesday, however, she struck.

Yesterday morning a fishing boat approached her and took off the mate, who made his way to Onancock. He found on his arrival, however, that the entire Eastern Shore was isolated and that there was no possible way to send word to either Baltimore or Norfolk. At that time the City of Norfolk was some thirty hours overdue and airplanes were covering the lower region of the bay seeking her. One of them finally located her and wirelessed Norfolk.

Captain Hall left Baltimore on Tuesday evening and ran into the storm about 9 o'clock. He had his own troubles, he said, but managed to dock at Crisfield at 3:20 A. M. Wednesday. The tide rose several feet above the wharf and he was seriously concerned for the safety of the steamer.

Potomac Brought To Port

Capt. James Gresham brought his Western shore Company steamer Potomac into Baltimore today. He had weathered the storm at Readsville, Va., after running across the bay from Hooper's Strait into the Great Wicomico river during the early hours of Wednesday.

Some forty passengers were aboard the Potomac and many of them were seasick when they reached Readsvill, Captain Gresham reported. He stood in the pilot house of the Potomac while the storm raged Wednesday and watched Readsville roofs lifted bodily from the homes they covered and deposited in streets and yards.

Virtually all the Rappahannock river wharves are down, but officials of the company reported that they would continue complete deliveries, landing freight at those piers that are still and trucking it to its destination.

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