Vol.LXIX No. 13
Trees Of Salem: Gone With The Wind
by April Edmondson
At approximately 8:45 pm strong
winds ripped through the core of
historic Old Salem. After only a
few brief minutes of whirling
winds, centuries of memories were
Salem square was left in
shambles, leaving a path of
lOO-year-old trees thrown to the
ground. The white fence around the
Square was hardly standing.
Fortunately, this building received
The English wing of Main Hall
was "shaken," leaving behind a
trail of shattered glass and a forced
entrance caused by the strong winds.
Winds between 60-100 miles per
hour ripped about one third of the
roof off Main Hall, leaving rafters
bare. Lehman Hall also lost part of
hs roof. Many other buildings on
campus had several roofing tiles
knocked loose. Many windows in
Main Hall, South, and Sisters
dormitories were blown out.
The storm completely swept
away the arbor leading to the
God's Acre was also heavily
damaged. Many of the cypress and
oak trees were uprooted along the
walk way. Some of the normally
flat gravestones were pitched at
awkward angles. The white arch's
and brick gateways are laying in
many pieces along the path.
The famous tea pot, which has
been the symbol of local
hospitality since 1858, "popped"
Around Winston-Salem the storm
left power outages, trees down,
phones out-of-order, and
individuals helpless. Perhaps the
hardest hit area, other than Old
Salem, was the Ardmore section.
About 100 homes were bombarded
with trees and stray branches. Cars
were damaged and power was still
out as late as Tuesday afternoon.
Both the Forsyth County
Sheriff's Department and the
Winston-Salem Police Department
were busy Friday after the storm
moved through the area. The
police Department reported that
the damage was more extensive
than they had believed at first.
Additional officers were called in
Friday night to assist in handling
accidents, direct traffic, and
Many of the schools were severly
damaged. City and county schools
were closed Monday and Tuesday
due to structural damage and power
Winston-Salem State University
sustained an enormous amount of
damage also. Many windows were
blown out from various buildings
across campus. Even more serious
damages include a brick wall being
removed from the nurses' building.
The cost of repair is estimated at
approximately $2.3 million.
On Sunday a preliminary count
estimated 217 houses with minor
damage, 81 with major damage,
and seven homes destroyed.
Approximately 20 businesses were
affected (Winston-Salem Journal,
May 7, 1989).
Baptist and Forsyth Memorial
hospitals were not overwhelmed by
medical emergencies. About 40
people were seen in the emergency
room shortly after the storm,
however none were admitted.
Wake Forest did not report any
damage. Although there was
little damage to that part of town
they did experience a power
The Smith Reynolds Airport
sustained a great deal of damage.
A dozen planes were destroyed and
airplane fuel was dispursed onto
the runways. The estimated cost of
the damage tp planes and buildings
is between $15-$30 million.
Remarkably no one in Forsyth
County was seriously injured.