Vermont Flood, Mar 1936

Big Vermont Dam Goes Out; Deaths In Its Path Feared

Two Towns Abandoned as More Floods Grip New England; 18 Dead

BOSTON, Mass., March 18 (AP).---A $1,000,000 dam at Vernon, Vt., went roaring out before the force of the flood swollen Connecticut River Wednesday night, State police announced as they ordered everybody out of the valley below.

The power dam yielded at 11:10 p. m. Its powerhouse had been abandoned shortly before. A six-mile ice jam to the north had caused apprehension for several days.

Residents of Hatfield were marooned. The report said Hadley and Sutherland were abandoned. Northfield was the first town in the path of the released waters. Some loss of life was feared.

New England previously had placed its death toll at eighteen because of floods which ravaged its lands the last week.

A southeast storm deluged the area. Mountain snows, softened by continued unseasonable warm temperatures, poured thousands of tons of water into raging rivers, which in turn engulfed communities, submerged highways and railroad trackage, swept bridges before them and cut lines of power, light and telephonic communication.

Most serious damage was along the winding valley of the Connecticut River and its tributaries, from the northern stretches of New Hampshire and Vermont to Long Island Sound, but scores of other streams in Western Massachusetts, Northern and Central Vermont added their toll.

Two States Quiet.

Only in Maine, devastated by last week's floods, and in Rhode Island, was the situation comparatively quiet. Even in Maine the rise of the Saco River was causing anxiety. A forecast of continued rainfall was general for New England. Deaths Wednesday were:
ELIZABETH, 7, and DONALD RATTEE, 5, drowned when they fell from a footbridge over a stream near Hancock, Vermont. Mrs. HIRAM S. DRURY, Williamstown, Vt., dropped dead as she watched flood waters from a bursting dam. HAROLD L. SMITH, 42, father of twelve children, drowned at Windham, Vt., while attempting to divert water from flooding the basement of the lumber mill where he worked. HARRY R. WILLIS, railroad freight agent, and two children were swept to death when a bridge on which they were standing swept into the Nashua River.

State of Emergency.

In the Farmington River Valley at New Hartford the 92-year-old 200-foot wide Greenwoods Dam burst, releasing 8,000,000 gallons of impounded water, isolating the tiny village of Satan's Kingdom and sweeping away several buildings of a hardware factory. Residents were forced to retreat to second stories.

Flood Havoc At a Glance
(By The Associated Press)

The flood situation at a glance:

Vermont.---Four dead, part of $1,000,000 dam breaks at Vernon; residents ordered out of Connecticut Valley; other dams menaced.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 19 Mar 1936