CATASTROPHE: On the Coldwater

At Birdie a white woman bore a child atop a cotton shed. Mother & babe froze to death. At Crenshaw a blackamoor born in a boxcar died of exposure and the bodies of six negroes were washed up. At Sledge a single telephone was left in commission. Hip-deep in icy water, Mayor Prysock chattered into it: "A thousand persons are marooned in this area, and we can't reach them. We must have help today. We have to bust a lane through the ice to get our little boats through. We need big boats...