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Flood of 1913: Intelligencer News from March 28

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▶  WHEELING HISTORY  ▶  EVENTS  ▶  FLOODS  ▶  FLOOD OF 1913

▼ 1913 Flood News Articles


- from the Wheeling Intelligencer, Friday, March 28, 1913, p. 1
 

RIVER WILL NOT REACH STAGE OF 52 FEET


Sensational Report of Another Rise Coming Proves Groundless


River at Pittsburgh Practically Stationary at 1 O'clock and Pennywitt Predicts 51 Feet for Wheeling by Noon Today.


River Rising Less Thank Inch an Hour at Pittsburgh at Midnight and Only Rising Here Inch An Hour at That Time.


Local Indications Are That River at This Point Will Become Stationary at Less Than 51 Feet -- Fair Weather Predicted.


RIVER STAGES

Time. Wharf McMechen Dam
Noon. . . . . . . . . . 47.5 feet. 49.3 feet.
1 o'clock p. m.. . . . . . . . . . 47.9 feet. 49.7 feet.
2 o'clock p. m.. . . . . . . . . . 48.1 feet. 50.0 feet.
3 o'clock p. m.. . . . . . . . . . 48.4 feet. 50.2 feet.
4 o'clock p. m.. . . . . . . . . . 48.7 feet. 50.4 feet.
5 o'clock p. m.. . . . . . . . . . 48.9 feet. 50.6 feet.
6 o'clock p. m.. . . . . . . . . . 49.2 feet. 50.9 feet.
7 o'clock p. m.. . . . . . . . . . 49.4 feet. 51.1 feet.
8 o'clock p. m.. . . . . . . . . . 49.6 feet. 51.3 feet.
9 o'clock p. m.. . . . . . . . . . 49.8 feet. 51.5 feet.
10 o'clock p. m.. . . . . . . . . . 49.9 feet. 51.7 feet.
11 o'clock p. m.. . . . . . . . . . 50.0 feet.  
12 (midnight). . . . . . . . . . 50.1 feet.  
1 o'clock a. m.. . . . . . . . . . 50.2 feet.  
2 o'clock a. m.. . . . . . . . . . 50.3 feet.  
3 o'clock a. m.. . . . . . . . . . 50.4 feet.  

With the river practically on a stand at Pittsburgh, and a maximum stage of 39 1-2 feet predicted by Forecaster Pennywitt for that city this morning, and stage of 51 feet for here, the flood situation, which has assumed such serious proportions, has taken on a more cheerful aspect.

In the fact of the large volume of water, with its attendant loss and suffering, this prediction came as a ray of sunshine through a dark sky. Mr. Pennywitt predicted the maximum stage of 51 feet would reach this city to-day.

The additional water beyond the predicted 45 feet caught many people unprepared, and as a result the loss will be hundreds of thousands of dollars greater than otherwise. Many business men depending on the forecast, left their places of business Wednesday night confident that everything would be all right, only to awake yesterday morning to find a stage of 47 or 48 feet of water, their stores flooded and goods damaged amounting to thousands of dollars.


PENNYWITT'S TEN O'CLOCK REPORT


At 10 o'clock last night Forecaster Pennywitt stated to The Intelligencer over the long distance phone that the river at Pittsburgh was 29 feet 7 inches and rising about one inch an hour and that he expected 30 1-2 feet at that point by this morning. The slight rise in the water is coming from the Monongahela river, the Allegheny being practically at a standstill. The stage at Wheeling, he said, would not likely go over 51 feet. At this hour the weather at Pittsburgh was very cold and snowing.


PENNYWITT AT 1 O'CLOCK


At 1 o'clock this morning Forecaster Pennywitt informed The Intelligencer over the long distance phone that there was nothing to change his prediction of earlier in the evening. He said at that hour the river was 30.1 feet and rising very slowly, and that the maximum for Wheeling would be 51 feet, the crest reaching here some time today.


The second rise was also a matter of great apprehension and was allowed by wild report of 10 or 12 feet of water in addition to what already here, but this proved to be groundless. However, it served to create a great amount of alarm and was the cause of much annoyance to many.

With but little more water yet to come about all the damage has been done and it will be welcome news to learn that a much higher stage will not be reached.

The flood is the worst that has visited Wheeling since the memorable one of 1884 and the resulting loss will so great that it cannot even be estimated at this time. The water came up so quickly that it caught many unprepared and this will make the loss still greater.

Practically all of the Island is under water, the South Side and East End are inundated and in many cases houses are completely submerged. So far the gas has held out and the city plant has plenty of light.

All the manufacturing plants are out of business and the railroads and traction lines suspended with the exception of the B. & O., which is operating trains over the Pittsburgh division and the West Virginia Traction & Electric Company is operating a few cars over its lines in the city and portions of the out the pike district.

The streets yesterday were lined with thousands of sightseers and all points of vantage were the [ ...] crowds from early in the morning until late at night.

Much difficulty was experienced by the telegraph and telephone lines and news from the outside world was secured with great difficulty. However, with predictions of fair weather for today and Saturday and fair weather at Pittsburgh, with the river at 1 o'clock this morning practically at a standstill, it is practically assured that the latest big flood is about at an end.
 


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