03/22/09 163 W - + 11 - 13 Disaster Genealogy Site

From a reader, here's a disaster genealogy site that's pretty cool. It's called GenDisasters and compiles "information on the historic disasters, events, and tragic accidents [in the United States and Canada] our ancestors endured." You can browse by disaster, location, or year. For North Carolina, their listed events include air disasters, auto accidents, bridge collapses, building collapses, drownings, earthquakes, explosions, fires, floods, hurricanes, mining explosions and accidents, panics, ship disasters, storms and lightning, tornadoes, and train wrecks and accidents. For fires, they have 35 listed from 1897 to 1996, with most from the 1920s and earlier. There are also community features, including the ability to add comments or more information to existing articles. Cool stuff, and to be integrated to my North Carolina deadliest disasters database and my deadliest fires database. Also on the horizon is a pending compilation of the state's largest fires, if and when we can make that happen. Anyway, check out that cool web site: gendisasters.com.

Random find on that site. Wind storm in Wendell, destroyed 165 (!) buildings:

TWELVE INJURED. Wendell, N. C., April 5. — About twelve persons were injured in and near Wendell late yesterday in a windstorm which demolished 165 buildings, damaged a number of others and played havoc with crops. The loss was estimated at about $100,000. One hundred barns, fifty dwellings and 15 packing houses were destroyed. Decatur Review Illinois 1923-04-05.
Legeros - 03/22/09 - 10:33

Okie-dokie, a quick comparison of my and their data yields the following “deadliest disasters of all time” list for North Carolina:

Air accidents, civil: Henderson, 1967 (82), Charlotte, 1974 (72), Charlotte, 1994 (37), Bolivia, 1960 (34).

Air accidents, military: Laurinburg/Maxton AAB, 1943 (25), Pope AFB, 1994 (23), Camp Lejeune, 1967 (22), Laurinburg/Maxton AAB, 1940 (20).

Fires, structural: Hamlet, 1991 (25), then numerous that have killed 9, 8, 7, etc. people.

Flooding: Eastern NC, 1913 (12?).

Hurricanes: Floyd, 1999 (51), Agnes, 1972 (35), Fran, 1996 (24), Hazel (19).

Military accidents: Bachelor’s Creek in Craven County, torpedo explosion, 1864 (40).

MVA: Cumberland County, 1957 (18), Robeson County, 1942 (11), Plymouth, 1997 (10).

Rail: Robeson County, 1943 (74), Hamlet, 1906 (29), Iredell County, 1891 (25).

Tornadoes: Nine counties, 1984 (42), Two counties, 1884 (23), Guilford County (and others?), 1936 (14).

Mines: Chatham County, 1925 (53), Lee County, 1895 (39), Lee County, 1899 (23).

Ships: Steamer Metropolis off Currituck Beach, 1878 (150?), Steamer Constitution off Cape Lookout, 1865 (30?).

Yup, it’s Sunday, and Mr. Blogger has plenty of free time.
Legeros - 03/22/09 - 10:51

Let’s change MVA to MVC. ‘Accident’ suggests that they could not have been prevented. Not sure about the Robeson incident, but from what I have read, the Cumberland and the Plymouth MVCs could have been prevented, as could 99.995% of all the MVCs I have been to over 33 years…
DJ (Email) - 03/22/09 - 12:04

From Wiki; “An accident is a specific, identifiable, unexpected, unusual and unintended external action which occurs in a particular time and place, without apparent or deliberate cause but with marked effects. It implies a generally negative probabilistic outcome which may have been avoided or prevented had circumstances leading up to the accident been recognized, and acted upon, prior to its occurrence”.
Silver - 03/22/09 - 12:44

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