Delaware River, PA and NY Freshet Flooding, Aug 1871
THE RAIN STORMS -- DELUGE AND DESTRUCTION REPORTED IN EVERY DIRECTION.
A FRESHET ON THE DELAWARE RIVER AND TRIBUTARIES.
BUILDINGS AND BRIDGES SWEPT AWAY BY THE FLOOD -- THE ERIE RAILROAD TRAINS IMPEDED ALL ALONG THE LINE.
HEAVY RAINS THROUGHOUT THE HUDSON RIVER REGION.
GREAT DAMAGE DONE ON THE CANAL AND OTHER POINTS.
THE DELAWARE RIVER.
FEARS OF A FRESHET -- A COFFER DAM IN DANGER -- BRIDGE SWEPT AWAY ON VANDERMARK CREEK -- EXCITING SCENES -- THE ERIE RAILWAY TRAVEL CHECKED.
Special Dispatch to the New York Times.
Port Jervis, N. Y., Aug. 29. -- The storms of the past few days are now being felt in damages by floods. It has rained in this vicinity more or less all the week, but last evening it commenced falling in torrents, and rained incessantly until 9 o'clock this morning. From all quarters reports of damage are coming in. The Delaware River is many feet above high-water mark, and still rising rapidly. At this place there is a thirty thousand dollar suspension bridge being constructed across the Delaware. A large and expensive coffer dam has just been completed, and an improved steam-pump, with boiler and engine placed in it, to proceed with the work of laying the middle pier. This dam is entirely submerged, and the machinery nearly so. If the river continues rising a few hours longer the whole structure will be swept away. Immense numbers of logs, boards and timbers are running down the stream, and ferrying between this place and Matamoras, Penn., is attended with considerable danger. The streams that feed the river above here are swollen terribly, and there seems to be every prospect of a destructive flood.
At Milford, Penn., eight miles below here, the hotel of S. D. VAN ELTEN, a raftsmen's stopping place, is in imminent danger of being carried away. It is buildon a high bank, which is washed on one side by the river, and on the other by the Vandermark Creek. The furniture and entire contents of the hotel have been removed. On the Vandermark Creek the bridge at SHERMAN'S steam tannery has been swept away, and the engine-house of the tannery. The bank at the place is caving, and it is not safe to work about the tannery. All along the river farmers and lumbermen are securing everything that can be moved by the freshet.
Travel on the Erie Railway is seriously impeded today by the storm of last night. Early this morning, as the westward bound emigrant train on that railroad was about three miles west of Port Jervis, a portion of the track was washed away under the two rear cars. They went down the bank, but no one was injured. The break was repaired in a few hours. Later a very heavy break occurred west of Pond Eddy, by which a large portion of both tracks was swept away. This held trains No. 12, 4, 8 and 6, the first three all through express trains for New York, until 3 1/2 this afternoon. All travel over the division was obstructed. No. 1, lightning express from New York, was compelled to lie at Port Jervis until after 4 o'clock, her leaving time being noon. The yard at this station has been filled with freight-trains all day, every switch and siding being full. The loss in delay of freight shipments must be immense.
On the Monticello and Port Jervis Railway all travel has been suspended by a heavy landslide at Hartwood, sixteen miles north of Port Jervis. The train due here at 11 1/4 this morning will not reach here today. Passengers were brought from the obstructed train by a locomotive sent up from here, and will be taken up the same way and transferred to the regular train on the other side of the slide. It will be a day or two before this break can be repaired.
On the Delaware and Hudson Canal three serious breaks have occurred. Three hundred feet of the embankment are washed away near Phillipsport, Ulster County. A loaded canal boat was carried through. In the portion of the canal along the Delaware River immense sandbars have been formed at different points. Navigation will be interrupted nearly a fortnight, even if no other accidents occur, which is doubtful, as the rain is falling again in torrents. A number of rafts are reported as coming down the Delaware in the flood. If this proves true, the trestle-work beneath a bridge being erected across the river at Sawmill Rift by the Erie Railway Company will be carried down.
The New York Times New York 1871-08-31