Flood of 1907: Front Page Intelligencer News from March 14
- from The Intelligencer, March 14, 1907, p. 1 & 9.
42 Feet or over....
VERY SUDDEN INCREASE IN RATE OF RISE AT MIDNIGHT
MEANS THAT SOME OF WHOLESALERS WILL HAVE TO BEGIN MOVING OUT EARLY ON THURSDAY MORNING.
Situation is grave
AND A STAGE HIGHER THAN FORTY FEET IS INEVITABLE, BUT HOW MUCH MORE CANNOT YET BE PREDICTED.
THE LOCAL MARKS
|6 A. M.||..........||16||0|
Pittsburg stage, midnight, 26 feet.
Rising .8 an hour.
Predicted stage at 8 a.m., 28 feet.
Weather — Rains general.
Maximum stage uncertain
Wheeling stage 1 a.m., 29 feet, 5 in.
Rising 13 inches an hour.
Forty feet predicted for Friday morning.
Maximum stage in excess of 40 feet.
JUST FOR COMPARISON
The Ohio is at flood stage the danger line having been passed before daylight this morning. Rains are reported from all points above and the indications are for one of the most serious floods in the past two or three seasons. A stage of at least 40 feet is expected by Friday morning, while the crest will probably be in excess of that figure. The fact that the rains continued with increasing volume make it difficult to make an estimate within any hopes of accuracy, while to make matters still more uncertain the river rose this morning as it has not risen in last 15 years. At the rate of 13 and 14 inches an hour, one could fairly see the yellow waters as they crawled up the gauge this morning, and so alarming had become the conditions that at 2 a. m. this morning the Intelligencer communicated with all the principal wholesale business men of the city who would be effected by a stage of 30 feet and over, and they at once began preparations for the rescue of valuable merchandise before the inroads of the Ohio.
The Flood Developed
with a rapidity that was astonishing and the first intimation came from Pittsburg through traveling men, who reported the lower part of Allegheny, Carnegie and other points inundated and both rivers coming out at a tremendous rate. On the local gauge there shortly afterwards begun to develop material evidences of the awful force of the rains, and by leaps and bounds the gauge was slowly swallowed up by the increasing flood tide of yellow water. The creeks came out with with a rush carrying with them all sorts of debris. Wheeling creek tossed its rubbish. Wheeling creek tossed was but an example of the stunt that was being encored by every small tributary of the Ohio, that for the time being was broadened to a raging river. By noon the river had risen six feet in as many hours.
By noon, however, the streams had wrought their havoc to farms, residences and railroads, and were settling back to their normal proportions. The river settled to a more rational rate of rise from four to five inches and continued in that condition until to last night.During the afternoon the rains that had gradually ceased in the forenoon, began to gather strength and with darkness developed to a veritable deluge. At 10 last night the waters of the creeks came up and they all poured another volume into the Ohio. This caused the remarkable rise of 13 and 14 inches an hour.
That this condition of the Ohio and its tributaries has resulted is not impossible when it is considered that for almost 48 hours it has been raining continuously not only at Wheeling but at every point that is tributary to the Ohio. At Wheeling close to 2 1/2 inches of rain has fallen. Communication with the Pittsburg weather authorities developed that 30 hundredths inches of water had fallen in the past twelve hours and for twenty-four hours previously it had been raining steadily. It was then raining at Freeport, Lock 4, Greensboro and other points. At all these up-river points the rain will nearly average two inches.
Stage at Pittsburg
At 11:30 o'clock the Intelligencer communicated with the office of Observer Pennywitt and the information was that both the Allegheny and the Monongahela rivers were rising. On the Pittsburg wharf marks there was then 25 feet and some inches and the rate of rise was four-fifth of a foot an hour. With it still raining and the river rising above they could not estimate the probable stage at Pittsburg, but expected 25 feet at 8 o'clock this morning when new calculations would be possible. ForWheeling they predicted 40 feet by Friday morning.At midnight the marks at Pittsburg showed 26 feet, while with that stage alone Wheeling would receive from 37 to 38 feet. With 28 feet by morning, one may figure for oneself.
The Side Streams
In the maximum stage of the flood much, of course, depends upon the action of the side streams. Should the rains cease this morning and the water from the side streams have an opportunity to escape, the flood will not be so severe as should they continue coming out with the arrival of the Pittsburg water. This water had not been in evidence last night. Should the Beaver river come out co-incident with the Allegheny and Monongahela the rise will be much higher than if it should spend its force first. All these things must be considered in making calculations as must also the fact that the rains were general south of Wheeling and that the waters of the lower tributaries will choke the channel of the Ohio and tend to hold back the waters on the upper Ohio and in that way increasing the maximum figure.
Late developments of this morning however will shed much light upon the flood situation. With daylight it will be possible to obtain further facts the effect of the rainfall may be better figured as a result of the developments of the night and with all this material an estimate that will be nearer the actual stage will be possible.
(continued on p. 9)
Creek Puts Out
Great Quantities of Rubbish Come Down the Wheeling Creek Valley
If the class of debris which floated down the creek yesterday is any criterion by which to judge of the property damaged by the high water the extent will certainly be enormous. Portions of sheds, board walks, planks and wagons were seen floating down the creek, which furnished great interest for passersby over the Market and Main street bridges, the majority of which stopped and spent some time in gazing curiously into the muddy stream.At the new piers of the B & O. placed for the entrance into the new station which are rather wide, with a road end, the waters were caused to wave greatly and the noise made by rushing past these huge piers was very noticeable on the street.Portions of the debris which was thrown on the creek bank was washed away with the rushing waters.