New York Flood, Dec 1901


New York and Pennsylvania Visited by Severest Storms In Years---Four Lives Are Lost.

Raging Rivers and Swollen Creeks Inundate Cities and Railroads and Property Loss Totals Millions.

NEW YORK, Dec. 15.---Warm weather and rain, followed by high winds, have resulted in fearful damage all over New York state. On Saturday the snows in the northern sections thawed rapidly, causing the rivers and creeks to rise and the valleys were inundated. Heavy rains followed during the night, accompanied by winds of great velocity.

Trains were blocked for many hours, landslides were frequent and in the low lands and valleys hundreds of dwellings were flooded, while the damage to farm lands and buildings is very great. Few lives so far have been reported as lost.

In and around New York city, the wind reached a velocity of 48 miles an hour, but beyond minor incidents no great damage is reported so far as property on land or shipping.

Corning reports that the Chemung and Canisteo Valleys have had the biggest flood since June, 1888 today. The Chemung and Canisteo rivers overflowed their banks and for miles east and west the lowlands are flooded and great damage had been done.

The village of Painted Post has been under water all day and the water is two feet deep in most of the dwellings. The Erie, Lackawanna and New York Central roads all suffered from washouts and landslides.

At Ithaca the damage is estimated at $200,000. The flood was the most disastrous experienced since 1857. The nearby creeks became raging torrents by midnight. A dwelling house was swept away and today no trace of it could be found. The power and lighting plant was washed out and two trolley car traffic is suspended and the city is in darkness. Lumber yards and buildings suffered immediately and wreckage blocking the canal of Six Mile Creek turned the stream from its course and the whole lower part of the city was overflowed. Miles of the Lehigh Valley and Lackawanna Railway tracks were washed away and no trains reached Ithaca. Several bridges were washed away. Percy Field at Cornell university was turned into a lake and the power plants were abandoned. The lower floor of the city hospital was overflooded and today no heat or light was available in the institution.

At Waverly great damage was done, roads being washed out, cellars filled and buildings unroofed. There was a washout on the Erie railroad near Wellsboro, another washout near Otego. It is believe no trains can get through on the Erie before Monday night.

Syracuse Suffers.

At Syracuse the sudden rising of Onondaga creek caused great property damage and drove several hundred people from their homes. The water rose six feet in eight hours, but is now receding. Many people were rescued by police and firemen in boats and no lives are known to have been lost.

At Binghamton the rainstorm sent the Chenango river over its banks and caused a flood which has not been equaled for 22 years. Cellars are flooded and much damage has been done to business houses on the river front. The county poor farm buildings are surrounded by water several feet deep.

Not an Erie or Lackawanna through train has passed through the city since 9 o'clock Saturday night. High water moved a pier of the Lackawanna bridge from its foundation.

At Oneida the Oneida creek overflowed and the water was from one to three feet on the first floors of residences. The Ontario & Western railway tracks ere covered for nearly one mile.

At Troy the damage from wind and rain is estimated at $60,000 and the electric car service to Albany is suspended.

State Swept by High Wind.

Considerable damage has been done throughout northern New York by the extremely high wind which prevailed for 24 hours, reaching the velocity of a tornado. The warm weather Saturday sent the snow out of the Adirondacks like magic and many houses on the lower levels are flooded.

At Middletown large landslides occurred on the Erie railway. In a collision between two trains one man was killed and several injured. The bridge over the Neversink river settled several inches.

At Rome the rapid rise of the Mohawk river caused heavy loss and great distress. The city and suburbs are under water for miles. Only one train passed the city today and the tracks are badly washed. People were taken from their houses in boats and others are entirely without fuel.

Logs, valued at $75,000 were swept away on East Canada Creek, north of Herkimer.

The storm did considerable damage in and about the city of Schenectady.

Twenty Bridges Washed Out.

Twenty bridges on the Lehigh Valley railway south of Auburn were washed away. Besides this the track was undermined in many places and blockaded by landslides. All traffic from that city south over the Lehigh railway has been suspended and it is thought it will be several days before trains are again running.

At Moravia, twenty miles south of Auburn, the entire village was under three feet of water when the rain ceased.

The Duluth News Tribune, Duluth, MN 16 Dec 1901