Connellsville, PA Area Storm & Flood, May 1902

Mountz creek above White's creek was greatly swollen from the torrent of rain. When the flood from Breakneck struck it, the street railway track, county bridge and railroad track were washed out and swept away as though they were shingles. Coming down to Connellsville, Mountz creek flowed over that portion of the Second Ward known as Dutch Bottom. In some houses there were four and five feet of water. People living there were waked by the swish of the water and a panic ensued when their homes were discovered surrounded. Nearly every family there has a cow, pig or two and some chickens and ducks. To save these domestic animals housed in stables and coops nearby required heroic work. One well known resident there, his neighbors tell, rescued four ducks from a pen and placed them in an upstairs room while the coop of fine chickens drowned. The streets were rendered impassable and the old railroad bridge and trestle across Mountz creek was carried down stream.

The most inconvenience caused in Connellsville was suffered on account of the breakage in the gas main of the Fayette Gas Company over Mountz creek, near town. The break necessitated shutting off the supply from Connellsville, and people who use it in their stoves had to hunt up their friends and relations for breakfast, dinner and supper on Tuesday. The break was repaired by Wednesday morning.

Yesterday morning a committee of Council went over the flooded Second Ward district and noted the improvements that will have to be made at once on the streets and for the citizens whose places were damaged by the water. The Breakneck reservoir held a beautiful body of water, but has not been used for several years by the Connellsville Water Company. No announcement has been made that it will be repaired.

In the other country districts throughout the county the rain was heavy, but not much damage was reported except the washing away of small county bridges. Some roads too were badly washed. The Frick company barn at Lemont No. 1 was struck by lightning and one mule was killed by lightning in the pasture field.

The lightning and storm, accompanied by a heavy rainfall, which centered over Scottdale and vicinity Monday night, was one of the worst that section has ever felt. The electrical disturbance was marked by its great violence. The blaze of the lightning was almost continuous and lasted nearly three hours. The damage to light, telephone and telegraph wires was considerable. The entire section of electric light wire on Fitsburg Street went down. The washing away of the main of the Fayette Gas Company on Mountz creek, left the town without gas lights, and on Tuesday there were many who had to go without cooked meals. The big barn on the farm of Mrs. Sarah Shupe, near Scottdale, tenanted by William McWilliams, was struck and burned to the ground. The loss is $2,000 with no insurance. Two small houses occupied by foreigners in Swedetown, a suburb of Scottdale, were struck and burned. The Scottdale House, a four story building, was struck.

The Courier, Connellsville, PA 23 May 1902