Bridgeport, CT Flood, Jul 1905


Pequonnock River Tears Through Bridgeport, Conn., Doing Untold Damage


Men and Women Float Down River in Fearful Peril and Pitchy Darkness----Thrilling Rescues

Special to The Enquirer.

BRIDGEPORT, Conn., July 30.---Two men were drowned and fifty other persons were drowned and fifty other persons were rescued early this morning in a flood which took houses from their foundations, tore vessels from their moorings, wrecked four bridges and did widespread damage about the city. The combine forces of the police and fire departments were constituted a salvage corps, and many thrilling and heroic rescues were effected.

A large gas main crossing the Pequonnock River was broken by contact with a schooner and a falling electric light wire ignited the escaping gas, causing an explosion that shook the entire city, set fire to a barge and aroused the entire population.

Reduced to Kindling Wood

MICHAEL MORAN, whose shanty was carried away from the east bank of Berkshire pond and reduced to kindling wood by crashing into the Berkshire bridge several hundred feet away from its foundations, was buried under the debris, and his body has not yet been found.

WILLIAM KOWESKI, the second to lose his life, was driving an ice wagon across the Barnum avenue bridge when the flood carried the structure away. He was unable to extricate himself when the ice wagon overturned upon him, and he was drowned with the horses.

John Starchin, who was with KOWESKI on the vehicle, was more fortunate. He caught hold of a log and floated along with the rushing water until an opportunity offered for him to cling to a wharf.

Lesko's Fearful Peril

The family of John Lesko, consisting of himself, his wife and three small children were asleep in their house when it was dragged from its foundations and sent down the river at a terrific rate of speed. The house was dumped against another more firm, and firemen saved his family. Lesko, with his children standing on a bureau and his wife on the foot of the bed to save themselves from drowning in the house which was almost filled with water, floated down the stream in pitch darkness.

A dozen families whose houses were surrounded by water ten feet deep were rescued by policemen and firemen using rowboats. The houses filled with water and the occupants were driven to the second stories. Some of them were but one story high, and men and women and children in night attire were on the roofs crying hysterically to save them.

Altogether eleven families, consisting of 41 people, were rescued.

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