Diary of 1949 Typhoon Allyn: Part 3 – The center passes
If you missed it, read the introduction to this article and part 1 and part 2.
This is the strongest part of the storm. Part 4 will conclude the diary and summarize some information from the damage report.
“1605K: Now getting gusts to 100 m.p.h. Everything still holding fairly well. Visibility is less than one eighth of a mile and rain is falling at a rate of about 4 hundredths of an inch per hour. Emergency lights still not working. Believe the starter is out. Pressure still falling. The clouds still the same with a few breaks in the lower stratus with overcast solid above. Ceiling is now about 50 feet.
“1620K: Put in for a call to Clark field and was greeted by a call from Iwo Jima. They want to close down operations there but advised that they stay in operation for at least 24 hours in case of emergency at this station. Gave them the latest information on the storm and our condition. The wind is estimated at 90 knots now and the visibility is almost zero. The ceiling is estimated at 50 feet in precipitation.
“1632K: Corrugated roofing just started tearing off the roof of the terminal, it made a tremendous crash when the section tore off. All of the troops that are using the terminal as a typhoon shelter had looks of apprehension and I can’t say that I blame them. Indications are that the barometer is starting to level out. The crash of sheet metal on the terminal wasn’t the terminal roof apparently but the remains of the freight terminal on the east side of us. Capt. Highley said that it completely collapsed.Visibility has lifted from zero to 3/4 of a mile but the wind still has 110 knot gusts.
“1650K: Report just received from the Rawin crew, who had just left their hut, and they say that all the buildings are going and that sheet metal is flying thick through the air. Looks like the center has passed us as we had a 1 millibar rise in [pressure in] the last 15 minutes, although will wait for one more observation before we draw any definite conclusions. Winds still haven’t decreased although they are beginning to vear into the SE. Maybe its past us.”
Part 4 will contain the conclusion of this diary and a summary of the damage report.
I found your blog by “mistake”, but really enjoyed the Part I, II & III accounts of “Diary of 1949 Typhoon Allyn”. I was a 6 month old baby aboard the troop transport ship “W. Hase” that went through this typhoon en route to Guam in November 1949. I was put in a bureau drawer for “safety”; the ceiling light in our cabin ripped out/narrowly missed my crib due to the ship being thrown around while at sea during the storm! My brother broke his front tooth; my sister had her left ear almost torn off from falling; and my mother was almost blown overboard! I believe this was a Category 3? I was told that when we arrived at Guam the day after the storm all the palm trees were uprooted, buildings collapsed and thousands of large insects were flying through the air. We were supposed to live in the former Admiral’s House, an E shaped Quonset type building which overlooked the bay, but found out on our arrival that the entire home was blown off its foundation & out to sea, along with all the appliances (including a walk in refrigerator) & furnishings. I never knew how my father finagled getting that house anyway; smile. We stayed in a Quonset hut until new housing (cement) was built in Tipalao. The section in Part III stating that a lot of metal pieces were flying around is also what I heard. My father told me there was a palm tree that a piece of metal went through, & then the wind twisted the metal around the tree so tightly that it looked like it was done by a metalworker. Guam was so undeveloped in 1949 compared to today; away from the base it was a tropical paradise then. Now I hear it is all built up with hotels & fancy stores. But when we were young there, Santa actually arrived on a water buffalo! No one believes me when I tell them this stuff, which is why I guess I enjoyed your articles so much. Thank you!
I’m really looking forward to reading Part IV! I would appreciate it very much if you would email me Part IV, or just a note to let me know when you have it on your blog. Keep up your good work; fascinating!