Williamsport, PA Flood, May 1946

Williamsport, Elmira Areas Hit by Floods

Millions in Property Damage Reported;
At Least Six Persons in District killed

(By the Associated Press)
Flood waters flowed over banks of the swollen Susquehanna and its tributaries throughout Southern New York and most of North-Central Pennsylvania yesterday, claiming at least ten lives and damaging property worth millions of dollars in the sections most serious flood in 10 years.

River Continues to Rise
Williamsport, Pa. and Elmira N.Y communities of 43,000 and 50,000 respectively, were hardest hit.

The Susquehanna poured into Williamsport and surrounding Lycoming County Valley, reaching seven feet over flood level of 21.6 feet. Drenching rain fell again late yesterday and the river continued to rise.

The Chemung River, four feet above flood stage at its mid-afternoon peak of 21 feet, flowed over a third of Elmira, virtually inundating the area and disrupting utilities. Showers halted briefly after a 48-hour downpour then resumed.

All but one of the highways into Elmira were closed. The Coast Guard in New York said radiomen, trucks and portable radios for use in boats were being sent to handle emergency communications.

The Army released “ducks”-amphibious trucks- for flood relief at Williamsport.

Red Cross Chapters in Philadelphia, Reading and Bethlehem, Pa., were reported packed and ready to go if additional aid is asked in North Central Pennsylvania.

Business activity was halted in Williamsport, Lock Haven, and other Pennsylvania cities and towns. Water splashed into pressrooms at the Lock Haven Express and Williamsport Sun, suspending both afternoon publications.

Known dead:
CHARLES GILMORE and RICHARD BOWMAN, farmers from Mill Hall, Pa., sucked into waters trying to clear debris from a factory dam; GEORGE RAYMOND BARTON, 6, drowned in a rain-swollen creek at Harrisburg, Pa.; RICHARD HALLER, 66, Garland, Pa., heart attack while clearing a slide; MRS. WILLIAM WOMER, 30, her children, WILLIAM JR., 2 and DIANNE, 3, all of gang mills, near Corning, NY and one unidentified girl in New York State.

At least ten others were reported missing.

Binghamton, NY and Wilkes-Barre, Sunbury and Kingston appeared safe behind an extensive system of dikes.

3,500 Families Affected
The Pennsylvania Flood Emergency Committee reported that two persons were killed and six others missing near Williamsport.

Their identity was not immediately established.

Meanwhile the committee said 3,500 families have been affected by the flood in Williamsport alone. In one of the three Red Cross shelters set up there, seven cases of measles have broken out.