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
River Continues to Rise
Williamsport, Pa. and Elmira N.Y communities of
43,000 and 50,000 respectively, were hardest
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.
ONLY ONE HIGHWAY OPEN
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
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
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.
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.;
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
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
The tiny village of Hemlock, Pa., was isolated
as rain-loosened dirt and rock cascaded onto the
only highway entrance.
Airports were under water at Towanda and
Wilkes-Barre, Pa., a heavy fog hampered all
flying and made rescue work more difficult.
At Towanda, forty miles north of Wilkes-Barre,
six persons were trapped in the rear portion of
a home after surging waters broke up the front
portion of the house.
The Pennsylvania Flood Emergency Committee
arranged to move a thousand cots into the
Williamsport area to assist in the evacuation.
Meanwhile, far to the south, along the lower
Susquehanna, near Lancaster and York, Pa.,
rising waters were reported and the crest was
not expected until today.
A cloudburst Monday following four days of
almost continual heavy rains throughout the
entire area caused the rising waters. Federal
and state weather reporters said they were
unable to predict the crest.
In, 1936, more then $200,000,000 in property was
lost, 80 persons killed, 2,800 homes destroyed
and 55,000 others damaged by a flood that swept
many sections of Pennsylvania.
In Williamsport, damage was estimated by
an editor of the Williamsport Sun as at
least $1,500,000 compared with $5,000,000 in the
Business Area Flooded
Less then one block of the downtown business
district was out of water with the river running
two feet deep in Third St., one of the main
“It is curb deep outside out office”, GILMORE
said, “There are boats operating all through the
business district carrying on evacuation work.”
All utilities, including the city’s water
supply, are intact while sufficient food is on
hand, GILMORE said. All highways leading from
the city are closed by high water except a
secondary rural route to Ball’s Mill’s, which he
added, “may be impassable too at several points
Advised To Boil Water
“It has been raining briskly here for an hour,”
GILMORE said in mid-afternoon.
In Harrisburg, the State Health Department
announced all residents of flood stricken areas
have been advised to boil drinking water
Chief Engineer H.E.
MOSES dispatched seven state sanitary
engineers into he flood area with portable
chlorinating outfits to test water supplies. The
department’s nurses were also alerted.
The Bradford Era, Bradford, PA 29 May 1946
At least 13 persons drowned and four others were
missing in the muddy waters, which started
rising rapidly Monday night, after four days of
almost continuous rains. Estimates of damage
exceeded $3,000,000. Thousands were homeless.
The Red Cross announced two of its workers and a
young woman drowned in flood swollen Morris Run,
Tioga County, Pa. Victims were
Red Cross Chairman in Morris Run;
and MISS INNES
WILLIAMS, otherwise unidentified.
Red Cross field director at Harrisburg,
reported MISS WILLIAMS was trapped on a bridge
after a cloudburst turned the stream into a
racing torrent Monday night. The two workers
went to assist her and the span collapsed,
throwing all three into the water.
Syracuse Herald Journal, Syracuse, NY 29
Trish. Thank you, Trish!
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