Ligonier, PA Valley Storm, Aug 1938

Girl, Woman Dead In Storm

Ligonier Valley, South Hills Hit Hardest

Western Pennsylvania counted a toll of two dead – one a Wilkinsburg woman – and mounting property loss today in the wake of the summer’s most severe storm which lashed the section late yesterday.

The storm struck hardest in the Ligonier Valley, where rapidly rising streams flooded roads, drove campers from cabins and cut off telephone and electric service.

Mrs. Edith LENNON, 54, of 1013 Mill St., Wilkinsburg, widow and a former actress, was drowned when she fell into a swollen stream when the porch of a summer cottage on Laughlintown Run, near Ligonier was washed away. Searchers found her body in a thicket today, after the water receded.

Mrs. LENNON left Monday for a vacation at the cottage, owned by friends, with her son, Robert, 28, who was away when the storm struck.

Willa Faye SNYDER, 15, was killed by lightning as she lay in a hammock between two trees at her home near Clarion.

A fire started by a lightning bolt, destroyed the home of Justice of the Peace H. J. BUSH, 77, four miles north of Ligonier. A bolt also started a fire in the home of John FINNEY, Public Rd., Glassport, but the blaze was extinguished by Glassport firemen.

In Pittsburgh, the South Hills region was hardest hit by the storm. Lightning struck a dozen buildings, including a stone cross on St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Mt. Lebanon. Several sections of the South Hills were without electricity or telephone service for hours.

In the Johnstown area, where $10,000 damage was done, five persons were shocked and narrowly escaped serious injury when lightning struck the office building of the Rockingham Light & Power Co.

Sections of the Lincoln Highway west of Ligonier were flooded, and traffic was detoured over a dirt road. The Boys Brigade Camp was abandoned, and the campers taken to Ligonier in trucks. Sections of Idlewild Park, where the Irwin community picnic was held, were under water.

The new National Guard Armory and the Municipal Building, in Ligonier, had several inches of water on the first floors.

The storm broke several days of intense heat, leaving overcast skies behind today with a forecast of fair and slightly cooler weather tonight and tomorrow.

The Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 11 Aug 1938