Manchester, NH Flood, Mar 1936


Soldiers, Police and Firemen on duty as Many Are Rescued from Homes

Manchester is in the throes of the worst flood conditions in its history, surpassing the conditions prevailing in 1896.

All of the city’s bridges are closed with the exception of Granite and Queen City bridges.

The National Guard units were called out to assist in doing police duty.

All call men were ordered to their respective fire stations in the event of emergencies.

Police Effect Rescues.

Police effected several rescues from lowlands along the Merrimack and Piscataquog rivers, the last one being a sensational rescue of the animal trainer and the feeder at the Manchester Zoo.

Patriotic civic and fraternal clubs and other organizations have thrown open their doors to flood victims. throughout the city. Members of Legion posts, the Red Cross, Boy Scouts, Salvation Army, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, nurses of the Manchester District Association and others are standing by to aid in helping refugees.

Local telephone service is continued throughout the city but due to an unusually heavy number of calls, the service has been slowed up.

Mayor Issues Appeal.

Mayor Caron issued a statement urging all persons to keep away from bridges and banks of rivers and to remain at home until the flood dangers have subsided.

As the rampaging waters of the Merrimack and Piscataquog rivers continued to rise this forenoon, Highway Department workers closed bridge after bridge as a precautionary measure.

With the water well over 12 feet at the Amoskeag dam and with indications that the river will rise still more, Amoskeag bridge was closed at 10 o’clock several hours after the Mcgregor was closed. Water is running across the lower level of this span but there is no immediate danger of its being carried away.

Two landslides at Kelley’s Falls bridge caused the Highway department to close this bridge shortly after 10 o’clock. Tons of sand rolled down into the river at the western edge of the Kelley’s Falls dam but officials of the Public service company expressed no anxiety. There was another slide under the bridge at the western approach and as more slides continued later in the morning, city officials feared it might undermine the supports at that point.

The Public Service company has some poles in the section of the slides at the bridge and men were promptly sent out to anchor the power lines in the event the poles should fall.

As the Merrimack rose to unprecedented heights, a long row of summer homes on the west bank above Amoskeag were submerged and it was feared that some of them may be carried down the river. There are more than 50 homes in that group and some of them are occupied the year around but their occupants moved out last night, according to reports.

The entire police force has been on duty since midnight and the National Guard units were called out this morning in order to give the police officers an opportunity to get much deserved rest. The men on the 4 o’clock shift had been on duty without a stop for 20 hours up to noon.

Police officers went to Wentworth street during the night and assisted in the removal of 30 persons from their homes. Last night they moved out one family from Groux’s island and this morning the other family living on the island was taken to safety. They also helped in the rescue of the animal trainer and his assistant from the Manchester zoo.