Flash Floods of 1888: Intelligencer News, July 20
-from The Wheeling Intelligencer, July 20, 1888
AND PROPERTY DESTROYED
By an Unprecedented Storm and Flood.
A Bridge Crowded with People Swept Away
And of the More than a Score on it but Eight Saved.
Nine People Meet their Death on Caldwell's Run.
RUIN NEVER EXPERIENCED
In the History of the Fair Ohio Valley Before.
Bridges and Railroads Washed Away Bodily.
The Flood Gates of Heaven are Opened Wide
And the City and Vicinity Literally Deluged.
LOSS OF LIFE UNKNOWN,
But the List Increased by the Later Returns,
While the Damage to Goods and Property
And the Growing Crops in Beyond Estimate.
The Darkest Page in the Annals of Wheeling.
Never before in the history of Wheeling or the vicinity was there experienced a storm as terrific in its effects that which began within a few minutes of six o'clock last evening and raged with seemingly ever increasing fury for more than an hour. Considerable fail accompanied the rain, and at times the lightning was terrific. The volume of the rain fall was certainly three times as great as ever fell in the same length of time, and the loss of life, while it is difficult to ascertain definitely how many people perished exceeded that resulting from any casualty in the annals of the city. Streets were flooded in many cases from house to house, cellars filled or nearly filled, and in many cases the first stories of buildings were invaded by seething yellow tide which rolled down from the hills in mad torrents.
The damage and destruction to merchants' stocks cannot yet be definitely estimated. Thousands of dollars will not cover it, while in the suburbs the crops are a total loss.
The earliest and most heart-rending reports of loss of life came from Caldwell's run, where not less than nine lives were lost, four houses swept away, great gaps washed in the natural gas mains, the city bridges destroyed and the water and gas supplies of the Eighth ward cut off. Shortly before 10 o'clock the Hempfield trestle of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company over the creek at Main street was swept away, with many people on it, and how many lost their lives cannot yet be reliably told.
The bridge of the Elm Grove railroad over Woods run at Leatherwood was washed away and that road badly damaged by washouts. The Pittsburgh, Wheeling & Kentucky road at the foot of Ninth street was washed out badly, and at other points the road was rendered impassable by mud and stones washed upon it. The same road's trestle on the extension south of the creek was damaged just after an Ohio River freight train had safely passed over.
APPEARANCE OF THE STREETS
Shortly after the rain began to fall most heavily - about 6:15 - the water in the streets got beyond the capacity of the gutters and sewers to carry it off, and streets almost without exception were converted into raging rivers.
Twelfth street was one sheet of water from Chapline street to the river and above Chapline was almost as bad. At Chapline a tributary stream of the thick, yellow fluid joined and swelled the main flood, while a part of the waters was diverted on Chapline southward. At Market another torrent of water and mud swept into Twelfth street and even across Twelfth street and on down Market, which was one sheet of water from Eleventh street to the creek. Main street sent down from the hill another stream from curb to curb which joining the swollen tide at Twelfth, flooded the Western Union office a foot deep, and debouched into the river a raging torrent.
At Fourteenth street the scene was the same, and all the streets in the main part of town, north and south of the creek were like it.
The strength of the current was awful. Large stones and boulders were rolled over and over down the streets, the water splashing over them when their course was obstructed. Where the water struck a post or telegraph pole the force of the onward rush carried it straight up in the air four or five feet.
Tons of earth and stone were washed into the river, the volume of water being sufficient to swell the river three feet in fifty minutes. Boxes, barrels, cans and all sorts of debris were in the flood. At Sixteenth street on Market the temporary sea floated a large telegraph pole clear across the street.
SOME OF THE EFFECTS.
When the water receded, the scene was one the like of which had never been seen before. Mud, stones and all sorts of debris were piled a foot and some places two feet deep on streets and several inches deep on some sidewalks. On Market street below Twelfth the mud covered the street car track so as to render it impassable and a force of men were put to work last night cleaning it off.
At Reymann's brewery, in Manchester, the hard pike road which had stood the ravages of ages was washed out of existence, and a large beer wagon which stood in the open space near the brewery stables was buried up to the seat in mud and stones.
A large hole was broken by the force of the water in the big main sewer of brick on Nineteenth street, at Chapline, and a similar bad break was caused in the sewer on Eoff street, south of Seventeenth.
The Seventeenth street bridge was believed to be weakened again, but how serious the damage might be could not be told last night.
On Eoff street, at the head of the street, the water came off the hill in streams, and filled houses so deep that when the flood receded sediment was left on the tops of stoves. Furniture floated on the water. At Smith's brewery, on Market street, the flood came pouring through the building with large portions of the hill held in a solution in it, and about a foot of debris was left on the floor. It required the hardest efforts of the whole force of employes to prevent serious damage. As it was the loss was nothing.
These fragmentary cases show the character of the storm. No pen could write an adequate description of it.
The river, which in fifty minutes rose three feet, had by midnight risen ten feet. Such a rise from a local rain is simply unprecedented in history. There being no rise below, the current was terrific. Shortly after midnight it began to fall.
THE NATURAL GAS MAINS.
Both the natural gas companies had their mains badly damaged, and the city was without gas fuel last night. The damage will possibly take several days to repair. Whole sections of pipe were washed away. The manufacturers all had to shut down last night, and many people will eat cold meals to-day. The companies started out gangs of men at once after the storm subsided with material for repairs, but the labor was attended with great difficulty, and it was even impracticable in most cases to reach the scenes of trouble until a late hour light night.
THE DEADLY TORRENT.
Caldwell's Run Sweeps Nine Persons Away to Their Deaths.
The real horror of the situation brought about by the terrible storm began to be felt before the terrific rain fall had ceased, when there came from the lower portion of the city vague rumors to the effect that in addition to the destruction of nearly everything of value along the line of Caldwell's run, there had been serious loss of life. It was not long till the certainty of such a disaster was confirmed and that in a what that mad even strong men feel heart sick and distracted, for not only were there two of these lives lost as at first reported, but it is almost certain that nine lives were swallowed up in the awful torrent that, with irresistible force, swept from the high hills through which the usually quite run winds its way, through the country and city to the river, causing destruction the most dire.
The homes of these nine unfortunates were swept away, and as no trace has been found of them up to a late hour last night, there is scarcely any doubt that what they have perished.
A reporter of the Intelligencer started for Caldwell's run as soon as the storm would permit and reached the Eoff street crossing shortly before 8 o'clock. The scenes presented, even as viewed in the darkening gloom that had settled down, were most appalling. The waters had fallen considerably, but the run was still swollen to the proportions usually reached after ordinary heavy storms. There was nothing to obstruct its course as with sullen roaring the waters rushed to the river, for the reason that it had carried everything before it almost at the very outset.
Both the Chapline street and Eoff street bridges, together with their abutments, were gone, and the Woods street bridge was in such a weakened condition that it was dangerous to cross, especially in the darkness.
DARKNESS IN THE EIGHTH WARD.
South of the run all was in darkness, all the gas mains having been broken by the destruction of the bridges. The Eighth ward was without a gas light, and the only illumination to be head was that obtained from what candles, lamps and lanterns could be purchased at the stores.
Not only was this large ward without gas for light, but like the balance of the city, it was without natural gas for fuel, and to add to the gravity of the situation this carrying away of the bridges also broke the water mains so that the people of that section were without water. Mr. Hoffman, of the Water Board, was on the ground early and at once sent orders to Superintendent Riddle to get a force of man ready to get to work on the big twenty inch main as soon as the water should subside sufficiently, so that the lower end of the city might be supplied with water was early as possible. It is thought by noon to-day the water service will be in such shape that the consumers will not be longer deprived of that necessity.
Gathered on what was left of the Eoff street brick pavement between Twenty-eighth street and where the bridge stood was a large and excited throng of men and women, discussing in a distracted manner the awful consequences of the calamity. Those who had watched the destruction from a safe point said that the waters seemed to come as a solid wall that over-leaped the banks of the run and carried everything before it. It was not a gradual rise giving warning to those in exposed places but it came all at once.
They had seen this overpowering wall of water crash through the city carrying with it houses, outhouses, barns, cows, horses and hogs and debris of every kind and description.
COFFINED DEAD IN THE FLOOD.
Men shuddered as they told of having seen persons carried down by this awful torrent waving their hands for help that could not be extended to them.
Others told gruesome tales about seeing coffins in the awful tide, that had been washed out of the cemeteries back on the hills, but these stories were not generally credited until shortly after midnight, when men at the street car stables on the watchout for bodies that might float past, pulled out of the river a coffin containing a ghastly corpse.
THE LOSS OF LIFE.
There was, however, no disputing of the stories about the loss of life. Too many people saw human forms floating past and men coming down from the run confirmed the truth of these stories.
The house of Herman Stenzel, a well known milkman, was destroyed, and the supposition is that he, his mother, a girl by the name of Stenzel and a girl named Withers, who was visiting at the house, are lost. No trace of them whatever could be found.
A man named John Hohman was seen endeavoring to go from his house to the house of the Stenzels on a raft. That raft capsized and Hohman has not been seen since.
A CRAZED FATHER.
Mr. Thomas Howley, a man about 50 years old, formerly a well-known iron worker here is the only one that escaped out of his family of four. He in some miraculous manner managed to get out of the devastating flood. He was reported to be at the house of his brother in the lower part of the city last night in a half-crazed condition.
The flats northwest of the LaBelle mill were covered with the carcasses of drowned stock and with broken buildings and other debris.
At the south end of the Eoff street bridge, on the west side of the street, stood a neat frame cottage of a story and a half in height, owned and occupied by John Springer, iron worker. It was wiped entirely out of existence and with it went all he had except the lives of his family, which were spared to him. They got out just in time to avoid the crash with which it collapsed as the waters swirled under its foundations.
Next to the Springer house stands the home of Hermann Minger, a brick structure that was reported to be undermined in a way that made it dangerous. The truth of this could not be ascertained, however, as the condition of things was such that one could not safely reach the south side of the stream.
IN THE EIGHTH WARD.
Great damage is reported to have been done to the brick yard of the West Virginia Mining and Manufacturing Company at the east end of Thirty-ninth street. Mr. Dave Brooks, a member of this concern, said last night that the loss would probably reach $1,500 at the very least. The stables of the company on Caldwell's run were also injured somewhat. Kasley's blacksmith shop on Caldwell's run had one side caved in and washed away by the ungovernable flood.
ANOTHER LIFE LOST.
But meager reports were to be had of the devastating effects of the awful cloud burst up Bogg's run, just below the city limits, but from what is known of the damage that has heretofore been done along that stream on the occasion of ordinary heavy storms, it is not difficult to imagine that the storm of last night must have caused losses that can never be properly estimated.
The water is known to have been from four to five feet over the bridge crossing the run just beyond the Horkheimer tannery, but strange to relate, the bridge is still standing. A man named Keltz is known to have been up the run with a buggy. The house, with the buggy attached, was found drowned and bearing evidence of having been washing some distance by the awful current, but no race could be found of Keltz, and he is doubtless lost.
At Benwood nearly half the town was flooded, the water standing from an inch to two feet in depth in a large number of houses. Much suffering and discomfort has been caused thereby and no little loss has been occasioned. All the industrial establishments were forced to close down by reason of the breakage in the gas supply.
A BRIDGE GIVES 'WAY
And an Unknown Number of Lives are Lost - The Saved.
One of the most thrilling and terrible results of the flood was the sweeping away at half past nine o'clock of the Baltimore & Ohio wooden railroad bridge over Wheeling creek at Main street. There were a number of people on the structure when it fell, but how many is not known. Of the number many are known to have been saved, but there is no room to hope that all were rescued, at the lowest calculation fully a score of persons, men and boys, were drowned. This number may be increased when the truth is known to ten or twelve.
Wheeling creek was running out through the stone bridge with a sullen road, which could be heard a square away. At the seething waters swept beneath it and the wooden trestle bridge of the Baltimore & Ohio Company adjoining, crowds of people gathered to watch the novel sight. Of these some stood on the stone bridge, others on the banks, and many, in spite of repeated warnings, got out on the wooden trestle.
About half-past 9 the bridge began to creak and sway. Some people let it in terror, but newcomers took their places.
The number of men and boys on the bridge when the fatal crash came is variously estimated at from fifteen to twenty-five. There were probably twenty, at least.
THE BRIDGE GOES.
There was an upheaval of the timbers, a snapping as they broke, an awful crash, mingled with cries of distress and alarm, and the bridge and its human freight was in the awful waters.
Of those carried down with it, Messrs. J. G. Dillon, George Paull, Mr. Wilson, representative here of the Dun Commercial Agency, and a boy whose name was not learned, escaped at once, more or less hurt. A brakeman was on the bridge examining it with a lantern. There was great distress among those saved over the supposed fate of friends who had been with them. Rev. Monsignor Sullivan narrowly escaped going down with the trestle.
The scene of excitement which ensued was awful. The news spread rapidly, and hundred of people gathered in a few minutes. The stone bridge itself seemed to be in danger from the rising waters and the crowd of people on it. It was therefore closed by a rope drawn across it.
The good news that a number of those carried off had been saved at points below soon came. The first to be taken out were Mr. Will McDonald, book keeper at the Register office, who was standing when the trestle went down with Mr. Dillon, and a cigar maker named Charlie Stein, living on the South Side. Mr. Stein was pretty badly bruised up, and Mr. McDonald was so badly hurt as to be unable to speak. There were recovered at the Belmont mill landing by men in a skiff. Mr. McDonald was taken to the Niagara engine house, and from there taken home in a Guerney. The exact character of his injuries could not be told last night.
The towboat John Fisher picked up four men just below the Belmont mill landing, and attempted to come up to the wharf with them, but the strong current swung her tow around and she had to put back to the Belmont mill, where they were landed.
Mr. Myron B. Hubbard and a grandson of John Ball, the Market street locksmith, were picked up by a man in a skiff below the West Wheeling ferry landing. They had clung to a timber. The Ball boy thinks three or four others on the timber a little before were drowned.
The wreck of the bridge lodged on the bar at the mouth of Caldwell's run.
AN AWFUL EXPERIENCE.
Dr. J. N. Medill, veterinary surgeon said: "I started out intending to walk across the bridge. I had gone about forty feet when the bridge fell, and while it was being swept out I determined to make a leap from it and try to swim ashore, from which the distance was only about fifteen feet. But just as I was about to make the leap some heavy timbers fell into the water and make the swell so great that I could not carry out my intention. There was a man with me whom I do not know. From what I have since heard he may have been Mr. McDonald. We went down the river together clinging to the timbers. Others were trying to hold on, but lost their grip and were swept down. I think at least four who were near me were drowned, but I am not sufficiently acquainted with the people here to know who they were. I was picked up by a man in a skiff at the mouth of Caldwell's Run, and so was the man who clung to the timber with me. Half the time my head was under water, borne down by the heavy floating timbers, so that I had great difficulty to keep from swallowing enough water to choke me to death. No, except this cut on the head from a piece of timber, and good deal of very natural nervousness, I am not much used up."
STORIES OF EYE WITNESSES.
Mr. Wilson, of R. G. Dun & Co.'s office, came out of the wreck on the creek bank badly bruised and bespattered with mud. "There must have been ten or fifteen persons further out on the bridge than I was," said Mr. Wilson, "and there was no chance for them unless they were picked up in the river. They could not have saved themselves, for there was no time, no warning. I cannot tell just how I was thrown from the bridge into the mud and saved."
Mr. Sam P. Norton, who fortunately got off the bridge just before it swung out and was in a position to see more than those who had a narrower escape, through his was narrow enough, gave a graphic account of the disaster. "Charley Senseny and I," said Mr. Norton, "went out on the railroad bridge to see the water dashing out of the creek. We were on the eastern end, when there was a sudden wrench. We started to the bank and had barely made a landing when there was a terrific jerk and the bridge was wrenched from the track on shore and off it went. When we went on the bridge there must have been twenty-five persons on it. When it swung out there must have been at least eight or ten. There was no chance for them to save themselves. It was simply frightful to stand there and see those men carried away with no chance to help themselves. It was all so sudden that there is no more to tell."
TWO OF THE RESCUED.
Mr. I. G. Dillon said: "I had been making a round with Will McDonald of the Register counting room, and as we came over the stone bridge our attention was attracted to the rush of the waters out of the creek. Mr. McDonald and I went out on the railroad bridge to get a better look, as more than twenty others had done. I began to feel uneasy and to move off, as I suggested to McDonald that we had better do, when suddenly I felt the bridge going with us. The next thing I know I was down at the bottom of the bank, glad to be safe in the mud. I looked for McDonald, but he was nowhere to be seen. It was a terrible moment, I tell you. I don't know how anybody escaped with his life, it ws so sudden and the wreck was so complete. I fear there were not less than ten persons farther out on the bridge than I was when it went off."
FEARED HIS PARTNER PERISHED.
Mr. George Paull, of Hubbard & Paull, was scarcely able to speak when he was seen, for his partner, Mr. Myron Hubbard, was not to be found. Mr. Paull said, "Mr. Hubbard and I went out on the railroad bridge to see the flood. We were afraid to go on the old stone bridge, knowing it to have been condemned as unsafe and believing it to be so. It was all so sudden that I can hardly tell you how it happened. I had just said to Mr. Hubbard that we had better leave, when the bridge started. I hurried off as fast as I could, supposing Mr. Hubbard was right behind me, for we were standing together when I began to seek safety. Since then I have seen nothing of Mr. Hubbard and can only hope."
MR. HUBBARD'S STORY.
As soon as it was learned that Mr. Myron Hubbard had been rescued an INTELLIGENCER reporter hastened to see him at his home on the Island. Mr. Hubbard was in his bath room taking a hot bath after his narrow escape, and while the reporter waited for him to come down stairs a number of his friends gathered, some to give him a hearty hand-shake, some to see with their own eyes that he was safe at home. Mr. Hubbard was as calm and composed as though he had been on a pleasure trip down the river. He was cut about the legs by the heavy floating timbers, with which exception he sustained no injury.
"I went out on the railroad bridge," said Mr. Hubbard, "with Mr. List and Mr. Paull, not suspecting, of course, that we were in any danger. Why, when the bridge broke loose I was not more than fifteen feet from the shore, but that was enough to make all the difference. I was all so quick that there was no time to do anything. From the moment I was dragged down with the bridge until we were swept out into the river I was held under water. But I fully realized my position and kept my mouth shut so that I would not swallow water. I used to do some swimming, and I tried to paddle about in an effort to bring myself to the surface.
OTHERS IN THE WATER.
"I could feel somebody, perhaps it was one person, perhaps I was more - I could not tell - striking against me in the water. Young Ball was near me, and it may have been only he, though he is sure there were others near us. Then the water was full of timbers, very fortunately, too, for as soon as I came to the surface in the river I managed to get on a timber and that saved me until the men in the skiff from the steamboat picked me up off Bloch's tobacco factory. Of course I cannot tell precisely, but I think I was not in the water more than 25 minutes, but you may believe that under the circumstances it is difficult to measure time. My watch stopped at 9:20, and that must have been just the time the bridge went down and threw us into the water. Well," said Mr. Hubbard with a smile, "you may be sure I am glad to be home again, and I am glad that my wife and children are away. They will know nothing about this until they hear that I am safe." Mr. Hubbard's family are at Mountain Lake, and the INTELLIGENCER will tell them the good news with the bad.
Mr. Hubbard says there were 25 or 30 persons on the bridge further out than he was when it fell. Rev. Monsignor Sullivan makes the same estimate. This is probably nearer the truth. In that case at least 20 are lost.
THE BALL BOY'S VERSON.
Ed Ball, the youngster who had the good luck to be rescued with Mr. Hubbard, was about the most pleasant boy in Wheeling as he hurried home over the bridge. When he was asked to relate his experience, he replied, "Oh, we got it. It was enough for me. About Mr. Hubbard? Well he's all right. He ought to be. He had about half the bridge and was holding onto it when I first saw him in the river. I am sure there were other men floating around us, but I don't know who they were. I think a good many of them were not saved. Why I could feel them knocking against me. There must have been three or four clinging to the same piece of timber with me, and I don't see how they could have been saved. They certainly were not picked up when we were. "Oh! I want to get home." And away he went to the home where a father and mother were mourning his loss.
THE RAILROADS SUFFER
The Baltimore & Ohio Main Line All Right. Others Damaged.
The Baltimore & Ohio road did not suffer much on its main line. The night train in left Cameron on time in the rain, with orders to run slow. She got to McMechen's cut fifteen minutes late. The sweeping away of the Hempfield trestle and the damage on that division was this company's most serious loss, but last night the depot over the creek showed signs of settling, and it is feared the foundations have been weakened by being undermined by the water.
The P., W. & Ky. Road was less fortunate. At Ninth street there is a wash out from thirty to forty feet deep, which forcibly illustrates the strength of the awful current. At Short Creek about 600 feet of trestle was washed away. At the mouth of Caldwell's run, also, a large section of trestle was demolished.
This accident and a bad slip on the track compelled the evening train on the Oho River road to stop at Benwood. From there the passengers, about fifty in number, were carried up to Caldwell's run on a hand car a few at a time. From there they had to walk. They were glad to get through on those terms.
A large picnic party of the Third Presbyterian Sunday School was caught at Curtis's Grove, near Moundsville. They were provided for by neighbors. A similar party of the Disciples Sunday School was caught up at Beech Bottom.
Mr. Belleville, of the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati & St. Louis road, said last night he doubted if a train could be sent out for two days. Passengers can probably get to the north end of town by this afternoon. The exact condition of the Baltimore & Ohio's Hempfield division cannot be told.
EAST OF THE CITY.
The Damage Immense - The Elm Grove Road and Pike.
In the vicinity east of Wheeling, so far as the almost impassable condition of the roads made is possible to learn, the destruction wreaked by the flood was fully as serious as in and near the city. Henry Shallcross managed to get in from Elm Grove by walking around over Chapline hill. Mr. W. A. Isett drove in from out the pike. From these and other gentlemen the condition of affairs was learned to be serious.
The bridge over Woods run, at Leatherwood, of the Wheeling & Elm Grove road, was washed away, and that road, from Stackyard hollow to the Toll Gate was almost entirely ruined. The pike was in places covered six feet deep with water. Fences were demolished, bridges damaged, and travel was dangerous and all but impossible. At places a wagon floated and the horses swam.
At Elm Grove the Chambers coal tipple was washed away, with several cars, the scales, and a number of small tenement houses above the coal works were all carried off and demolished.
It was reported that Kimmins's store was overturned. It was so badly flooded that telephone communication was cut off early, and the Western Union operator had to desert his office, which was in the store, before the flood reached its worst.
The historic Clay monument at the Cruger place was undermined by the water and toppled over.
There was a seemingly authentic report that four children were in one of the small houses swept away, and that they were drowned, but the names could not be learned.
A new house partly finished and occupied by the family of the owner, a Mr. Hill, was overturned.
There was a bad slip on the Baltimore & Ohio road beyond Elm Grove. The wrecking train was sent out to repair the damage. The passenger train which left here at 6:20 p.m., with a number of excursionists for Atlantic City, is supposed to be stuck at this slip, but as the wires are down and the poles even swept away, nothing definite could be learned.
A party of several hundred people were caught at the Park, and the destruction of the Elm Grove road kept all of them there but a few who got in in buggies.
The full extent of the damage cannot be told. The Peninsula was a raging sea. Joseph Marshall lost all his crops there. Indeed, about every farmer and gardener in all the valleys of the county are heavy losers.
THE LOSS IN TOWN.
Some Estimates of the Damage to Individuals or Firms.
The flooding of houses and stores caused serious damage and loss in the heart of the city. The aggregate loss cannot be definitely stated. All along Market, Main, Twelfth, and Fourteenth streets the cellars were flooded. McLain Bros., the druggists, had much valuable stock ruined in the cellar, but could not estimate their loss. Noble Bros., the hatters, VanKeuren's Dairy restaurant, Dinger Bros., hatters, all had small losses.
Probably the heaviest losers are Messrs. Frew & Bertschy. The waters came into their building through the roof and sky-light. On their stock of furniture, etc., they estimate the loss at from $1,500 to $2,500. It may reach $3,000.
The Western Union Telegraph office had a foot of water on the floor, but got it swept out pretty well, and Manager Tracy said he could be in pretty good shape, locally, by noon to-day. The wires are in bad shape, however, some of the poles being washed away.
A little water got into the INTELLIGENCER cellar, but did not do any damage to speak of.
Joseph Speidel & Co. had about two feet of water in their cellar. Their loss could not be learned, but will be heavy.
George K. McMechen & Son had about two feet of water in their cellar. They can at present make no estimate of what was in the cellar or of the loss. The goods there, they think, were principally canned goods, which would not be damaged except for the exterior of the packages.
James McCullough, hardware, says his loss will not exceed $50. Wickham's base ball exchange had about six inches of water on the first floor, but business is not interfered with.
Muhn & Bandfass had about $1,800 worth of stock in their cellar, but fortunately it was raised from the floor and there was no damaged. They escaped by about two inches.
John Sells had about $60 worth of paper damaged in his cellar.
L.S. Delaplain, Son & Co. lost not more than $20. M. Reilly escaped without any loss. Bremer & Schaefer had about $3,000 worth of sugar in the cellar, but the damage will not exceed $250.
Neill & Ellingham had about $10,000 worth of stock in their cellar. Their loss is about $50. F. H. Lange lost $500 on a $1,000 stock of paints in their cellar.
J. W. Hunter's cellar was well stocked with seeds, &c., which will probably be ruined, as three feet of water was in his cellar.
Of course these are but fragmentary estimates. On the streets covered by these firms there is probably not a house that did not suffer somewhat.
OVER THE RIVER.
The Damage on the Ohio Side Serious - One Drowned.
At Martin's Ferry the usual damage about the Cleveland & Pittsburgh railroad was done, Clark's run overflowing its banks, and carrying tons of dirt, stones and logs down the track. Nearly every house from the beginning of Paull's addition to the Elson glass house was surrounded by water, rubbish and stones, and the railroad track literally covered with old cross ties and logs.
The run coming through Seabright's addition overflowed, covered the roads with debris, and gutted the Cleveland & Pittsburgh track, and in its course to the river filled cellars and floors with water and mud.
Back of Paull's addition the lowlands looked like a small lake, covering the C. L. & E. railroad from sight. The C. & P. trains were stopped at the Clark's Run crossing, where tons of sand and gravel covered the track, and were unable to get through until this morning. At the culvert passing under the C., L. & W. road at Mears' cooper shop, which washed out the piling ten days ago, the same damage was done again. The lowlands directly back of these contained about fifteen feet of water, which could not get through the culvert.
Nearly all the county bridges on Glenn's Run, two miles above Martin's Ferry, are said to have been washed away, which will impede road travel for some days. The damage to cellars and first floors in Clark's addition will be slight.
At Ætnaville the entire village was flooded by streams coming down from the hill. Mr. Louis Frick's saloon was filled two feet deep with water, and his store of liquors was completely ruined. His loss will amount to over $200. Other properties in that place suffered more or less from flooded cellars and first floors.
At Heohnleih's crossing the high bank of slack was washed down on the Cleveland & Pittsburgh track. The Cleveland & Pittsburgh trains had twenty-five passengers for Bellaire, and Bridgeport people made arrangements for their lodging, as the trains were unable to get to Bellaire.
In Bridgeport the damage was greater than ever was known. Kirkwood is a badly gutted village, the run coming down from the hill overflowing the culvert and carrying everything before it. This run, will known to be a dangerous stream in times of rain, comes down from the west, and passes through a culvert from West Kirkwood to Bennet and West Main streets. The rapidly rising waters soon grew too strong for the culvert, which became choked up with timber, brush and rocks. The water overflowed and carrying a heavy lot of logs and stones against a two-story house owned by A. J. Baggs tore out one side of the house and foundation.
A HOUSE RUINED.
Crossing the street there, the waters carried their burden of logs and stone against the house of William Giffin, twisting and wrecking it in such a manner as to make it entirely useless until rebuilt. Messrs. George and John Giffin's brick dwellings just below were filled with water on the first floor so suddenly that no times was had to remove carpets or furniture.
Jacob Steel's residence just above, was damaged like Mr. Baggs'. Daniel Moore's house was swept away, the roof being carried far down the street. The foundation of Mr. John Scott's house was twisted badly. All the rubbish caught and carried by the stream from the hill was carried down Bennett street to West Main, where the entire load struck the cooper shop, owned by Mr. "Chub" Campbell, of Martin's Ferry, and literally tore it to pieces, not one board being left standing upright. To the east of this shop the houses occupied by Mr. Forbes, Mrs. Pratt, Jacob McClain, Fred Handle, George Morrow and George Kelly, were filled with water an drift wood. The water was five feet in Mr. Kelly's grocery story, and his loss on goods will amount to three or four hundred dollars. When the waters had receded the streets and pavements were covered with mud a half foot deep.
FORCE OF THE WATER.
In the vicinity of the Cleveland, Lorain & Wheeling depot logs ten feet in length were washed about the track. Back of the freight depot the water was ten feet deep, and lumber and drift wood was left all around. Mrs. Emmet lost valuable cows, which were washed away and drowned. Dr. Wagoner's cellar was filled to overflowing. A number of wagons, carts and out buildings were carried away and left standing on the banks of the run.
At Wheeling creek the coal tipper was washed away, and houses on the creek bottom were flooded, doing great damage to furniture. Reports come from there that a child had been drowned in a house where water filled the lower floor. The name could not be learned. The crops in the creek bottom are entirely destroyed.
At West Wheeling the damage to property and live stock will amount to several thousand dollars. On the Upper Run the dwellings occupied by Thomas Moore, William Whitely, Dave Johns and Charles Chuttle were washed away and lodged against the C. & P. stone bridge, loosening that structure so as to make it unsafe for trains to cross over. Bridge No. 59 just below West Wheeling was completely torn down and carried away. The stone culvert under the bed of the C., L. & W., south of West Wheeling, was carried fifty feet out into the river, letting the track bed down so as to make travel impossible. The greatest damage is a Bridgeport, where so many fine pieces of property is either gutted or twisted and covered with rubbish. The loss can hardly be estimated.
At St. Clairsville.
Special Dispatch to the Intelligencer.
ST. CLAIRSVILE, O., July 19. - A heavy wind and rain storm passed over this place at 5:30 this evening, doing great damage to both the Northern and Bellaire & St. Clairsville railroads. The latter road is complete wreck, bridges and road bed being washed out and land slides being numerous all along the line.
The engine is now lying in the drift wood four miles down with a number of passengers. It will take weeks to repair the damage. The former road is not nearly so bad, although the damage is great it will take some time to put it in running order.
Great damage was done to crops and thousands of dollars have been lost thereby.
Special Dispatch to the Intelligencer.
BELLAIRE, O., July 19 - The water about here made terrible havoc. The Noble street bridge is gone; three houses on Indian run are gone.
The Second, Third and Fourth wards were flooded.
Great damage was done all over the country. Particulars to-morrow. No telephone to-night.
The Atlantic City Excursion.
There were about fifty people from this city and twenty-five or thirty from Benwood and Bellaire who took advantage yesterday of the cheap excursion rate offered by the Baltimore & Ohio to Philadelphia and Atlantic City and return. The majority of them went out on the fast express via Pittsburgh at 6:20 o'clock last evening. Among those who went out on this train were Mr. and Mrs. Henry Speyer, Mr. N. E. Whitaker and daughter, Miss Elsie, Mr. and Mrs. John Moffat, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Stamm and Mr. Bremer of Bremer & Schaefer. The train was an unusually long one and had to have a helper on the Sixteenth street grade. It had attached one of the company's best sleepers and everything was carefully looked after that could in any way add to the comfort of the excursionists.