Westmoreland Co., PA Flood, Jul 1879


July 26, 1879, witnessed one of the greatest freshets ever known in this region. Mrs. John Daily, residing between Shaner’s and Guffey’s Stations, was drowned. She and her sister had become frightened at the sudden rise of the water, and fearing that their home would be washed away by the water closed the house and left. Mrs. Daily’s sister left first, and had succeeded in safely crossing the run; but Mrs. Daily, in attempting to cross, was overtaken by the flood, carried down by the stream, and drowned. The culverts were all washed out, Robbins’, Guffey’s, and Shaner’s Stations, and all trains for hours delayed. The Buena Vista school-house was swept away, and two dwellings at Shaner’s coal-mines carried off. The stone bridge at Guffey’s was completely washed away, with four hundred feet of the track, and the schoolhouse near the track carried across it. One car was wholly smashed. The storm began with the falling of hail, followed by torrents of rain, and the Youghiogheny Railroad became the scene of great devastation. The storm and flood extended to other townships, and in Rostraver the farms suffered greatly by washes. Tinker Run and Brush Creek Valleys suffered by the inundations largely, and, taken altogether, this section of the county was never before visited by such a destructive flood.

History of the County of Westmoreland, PA 1882