Monday, October 2, 2023

MendoThrowback: A ‘Baby Cyclone’ Flattens Barns and Uproots Trees in Point Arena


Combing newspaper archives, MendoFever will work hard to provide a MendoThrowback every day of the calendar year to remind residents of days long gone. 

Headlines from the February 2nd, 1938 Edition of The Redwood Journal

It was 84 years ago today when a vicious storm struck the Mendocino County Coast flattening five barns, uprooting vegetation, and reminding Point Arena residents of the primal power of the Pacific.

An article from the February 2, 1938 edition of The Redwood Journal dubbed the storm a ‘baby cyclone’ and described a twister that “skirted the southern edge of Point Arena.”

Reportedly, residents of Point Arena “looked in awe as the circular funnel of wind swept in past Ed Pedrotti’s place” which took down a barn sending hay in all directions.

The storm tore towards the high school demolishing Lobree’s warehouse and two small barns on the Halliday property. The funnel cloud swept through Mike Buti’s property uprooting several trees, continued on to Chester Christensen’s place and then Fred Henderson’s where two more barns collapsed. The “baby cyclone” continued into the hills and disappeared from there.

Abel Olsen watched the storm’s fury from his window and told The Redwood Journal he was “knocked back from the window as the swirling wind struck the side of his house, breaking the window panes.”

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The path of the storm was littered with cypress hedges and trees and multiple livestock in the vicinity were “skinned up.” Workers from the Work Projects Administration were dispatched to clean up the wreckage. 

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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