This Day in History: June 30th, 1920

lightning during nighttime

Worst Ever at Milltown

MILLTOWN, June 30 – Early last night Milltown witnessed the most furious storm that has struck the community in many a day when trees, chimneys, telegraph poles, fences, windows, feed, electric, telephone and trolley wires came face to face with a raging tempest that swept every- thing possible from its route and left many badly demolished places.

The first shower, which came at 5.45 o’clock, was by far the worse in so far as it carried a blinding gale of wind that smashed windows and cut down trees in rapid-fire or- der. The hail was also exceptionally heavy in the first shower. Damage was done in all parts of the borough, the northern section feeling it most, although the Washington avenue section received considerable damage.

At the home of C. W. Kuhlthau in North Milltown, the windows of the back porch were knocked directly out and the back chimney swept off at the roof.

Fruit trees in all sections were targets for the wind and the owners will suffer heavily. The home of Samuel Gordon was struck by lightning and part of the roof ripped off.

Main street looked like a forest and the Trenton trolley line was completely blocked off for a distance of possibly 400 feet, due to seven poles being torn loose and thrown across the tracks and all wires down. Men were working at a late hour last night endeavoring to loosen the wire entanglement.

Those who have seen many, storms in Milltown claim the one of last night to far excel all others in tumultuous effort.

Panic On Trolley Car.

 A Milltown trolley car in which a number of Michelin employees were returning to this city during the first storm was struck by a lightning bolt. The passengers were greatly frightened as the flames began shooting through the car. A mad dash was made for the exits while the conductor tried in vain to get the window on the back platform open in order to pull the trolley pole off the wire. The passengers sought refuge in nearby homes.

During the second shower a bolt! struck the large barn on the farm of Mrs. W Hannah, Lincoln Highway, and split it from top to bottom.

In St. Peter’s Cemetery and along the Lincoln Highway large branches of trees are down and in some in- stances the trees were split in half.

At Berdine’s Corner, a large barn near Becker & Eckert’s garage, belonging to the Vandewater family and which was in process of being converted into a dwelling, was blown into the next field and turned over on its side. Trees and telephone wires are down almost wholesale in that section.

A house in the process of construction near the Musical String plant was blown from its foundation.

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