123

Manchester, NH Flood, Mar 1936

Both men expressed deep grief over the probable fate of their animals. All night they had worked to save them. Monkeys and other small specimens had been brought across the road to a building then considered safer.

Two bears and two leopards were lifted bodily by the trainers early this morning to the tops of their cages, here they are loose at the present time, but safe from the flood. In the building are four bears, two leopards, four ponies, elk, buffalo, three lions, four coyotes and other animals, many of which probably drowned. Captain Walker said at noon, however, that sounds from below led him to believe that many are still alive.

Water Still Rising.

With the Piscataquog’s water rising constantly and the situation getting more dangerous hourly, every policeman in the city was called to duty, working all night while the city generally slept soundly, unaware of the flood dangers.

Deputy Police Chief James F. O’Neil personally directed the rescue of an aged couple from Groux Island and more than 30 people residing on Wentworth street along the Merrimack.

The sensational tale of heroism on the part of Inspectors Walter Suosso and Joseph Pouliot and Lt. Walter Guiney was told at headquarters this noon as Deputy O’Neil related how the men had rescued the marooned Mr. and Mrs. Antonio Kemes of Centennial street. Both about 60 years old, were found on the roof of their home on the island. A previous attempt to rescue them late last night had failed but at dawn today, the police were back on the scene.

Caught In Air.

Inspector Suosso made the woman and man lie flat on their backs on the roof and told the woman to slide down. she dropped 10 feet and he caught here [sic] in his arms, balancing himself in the boat which threatened to capsize on more than one occasion. The same procedure was used to rescue the man, the big husky inspector succeeding in catching both persons.

Not satisfied with this work, Inspector Suosso did his share of the rowing back to land. Inspector George Welch and Thomas Armstrong waded waist deep half a mile to help rescue people on Westworth avenue. Included in the group were eight children, a sick woman and a man crippled by injuries. Two trucks of the Highway Department were of invaluable service to the officers.

Inspector Thomas D. Kelley and Sgts. Romeo Harbour and Thomas Austin were other officers who did yeoman service last night and this morning.

Continued

123