Pittsburgh, PA Flood, Mar 1907

Pittsburg, Pa., March 13.—The Monongahela, Allegheny and Ohio rivers are rising rapidly to-night. A stage of twenty-six feet has been reached in this city, and by to-morrow twenty-eight feet is expected. This stage is six feet over danger mark and will inundate the lower parts of the city. Reports from up-river points are alarming. A great part of many towns in the Monongahela valley are submerged, and many persons narrowly escaped with their lives. The property damage is heavy.

To-night it is raining heavily all over Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Basements were flooded, destroying thousands of dollars worth of perishable goods: a bridge at Harmarsville collapsed, precipating a freight train into the water and drowning three trainmen; residents in the flood districts were rescued from their homes in skiffs, and thousands of men are idle owing to the suspension of work in the coal mines along the rivers.

The Washington Post, Washington, DC 14 Mar 1907

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THOUSANDS ARE HOMELESS

Conditions in Pittsburg and Vicinity Worst in History.

Train, Trolley, and Telephone and Telegraph Service Badly Crippled—Theaters Closed—Guests Use Skiffs to Reach Hotels—Property Damage, $1,000,000 in Pittsburg and $2,000,000 in Connellsville District—Factories Idle.

Pittsburg, Pa., Mar. 14.—The greatest flood in the history of Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Eastern Ohio is being experienced to-night. Thirty-one lives have been lost in the various swollen streams and flooded district, and property damage incalculable has been sustained.

A large part of Pittsburg is submerged, and 100,000 persons are thrown out of employment.

At 7 o’clock the water reached a stage of 34.6 feet at Herrs Island, and 34.3 feet at Market street. The water continues to rise steadily about two-tenths of an inch an hour. At the headwaters the rivers are now stationary. The crest of the flood reached here about midnight, when 35 feet was recorded. This stage is 13 feet above the danger mark. The river is now higher than it has ever been for seventy-five years.

At 4 o’clock this afternoon the thirty-mile ice gorge at Parker, Pa., broke and is moving toward the city. The immense gorge in the Clarion River has also started down stream. Both gorges, however, are old and the ice is soft. On this account the arrival here is not expected to cause much damage.

Many Stores Inundated.

Conditions in this city to-night are the worst ever recorded. The whole lower down-town district is under water and people are moving about in wagons and skiffs. Duquesne way, Pennsylvania avenue and Liberty street, running parallel with the Allegheny River, are submerged to a depth of several feet. Hundreds of business houses located in this district are flooded. In a number of instances the water is almost up to the second flood.

The Gavets, Belasco, Alvin, and Bijou theaters are surrounded by water, and will be unable to open for several days. Water has destroyed or greatly damaged the power plants of all four theaters.

The patrons in the Colonial, Lincoln Annex, and Anderson hotels are either marooned or compelled to use skiffs to and from the buildings.

The car service between Pittsburg and Allegheny was suspended early to-day, and to-night the scenes at the Union Depot of the Pennsylvania Railroad are almost beyond description. Great placards announcing the inauguration of a special train service to Allegheny are displayed all through town. At the depot are thousands of people, a chaotic mass of humanity, shouting and pushing in their efforts to board these trains for Allegheny or the many suburbs adjacent to the city. Patrolmen in large numbers are endeavoring to bring some kind of order out of the situation, but without avail.

Continued

History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania 1889 Read it online

Memoirs of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania : personal and genealogical, with portraits Read it online

History of Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania 1886 Read it online

Allegheny County : a sesqui-centennial review 1938 Read it online

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