Pittsburgh, PA Storm, Jul 1931
Storm Sweeps City, Does Much Damage
Traffic Is Badly Disrupted By Flooded Streets; Bolts Hit Homes.
Uprooted trees, mud-filled streets, broken electric lines and dozens of damaged homes were left in the wake of the storm that hit the city early last night, the heaviest of recent rain season.
Street car traffic throughout the city, and particularly in the Northside and West End, still was cripples late last night, as emergency crews cleared tracks of mud and rocks washed into streets by the torrent.
A cable in Preble avenue was hit by lightning, disabling all lines of the Linden telephone exchange, as well as the police teletype system at Woods Run police station.
Thousands of persons waiting to see the first showing of city-sponsored talkies in Highland, Schenley, East and McKinley parks, were driven home by the downpour. The crews on the movie machines remained, and when the rain ended, the pictures were shown. Crowds were greatly reduced by the interruption, however.
Send Mercury Down.
The downpour worked havoc for a time on the heat wave, which had brought temperatures as high as 24 degrees during the afternoon, and caused two deaths over the weekend.
The thermometer at the United States weather bureau registered 91 just before the storm. An hour later it had dropped to 65. The rainfall had only temporary effect, however, since the mercury already had climbed to 75 degrees at 10 o’clock.
Heat prostration caused the death of Mrs. Margaret Fleming, 75, in her home at 3560 Beechwood boulevard, yesterday and of 2-year-old William Sunderland in his home at 812 Etna street, McKees Rocks, Saturday, according to morgue reports.
Northside Hard Hit.
The Northside district felt the full fury of the rain, which hit that section before it arrived in the rest of the city.
Torrents overflowed the curbs in various streets and poured high on the sidewalks there. The flood was particularly great in East Street, Brighton road, California and Superior avenues, Island avenue and the Ohio River boulevard.
Lightning hit a tree in front of the home of George Baines, city fireman, at 1617 Meyler street, and the tree fell against the front of the house causing damage to the light wires that started afire in the house. Firemen quickly quelled the blaze with little damage.
Lightning also struck the home of Joseph Leshe, 2020 Perrysville avenue; Michael Kumsak, 1425 Woodland avenue, and a home at 3510 Massachusetts avenue, it was reported to police. Damage was slight in all three.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh, PA Jul 20, 1931