Flood of 1907: Wheeling Daily News Article from March 16
- Wheeling Daily News, March 16, 1907, 6:00 P.M. edition
THE CITY A SCENE OF DESOLATION
LOSS HARD TO ESTIMATE, BUT WILL EASILY GO OVER $1,000,000
MANUFACTURING, WHOLESALE AND RETAIL BUSINESS AT A STANDSTILL
Saturday opened a beautiful spring morning. The sun came up with the air clear and a blue sky, but Old Sol looked down upon a scene of dire desolation. The spririt of good nature which was abundant Thursday and Friday even with those who toiled to save their belongings or those who had lost much, was gone, vanished through a sleepless night filled with anxiety and worry.
The waters had receded but little, but the water carnival of boat rides was no more. Here and there through the streets boats were seen but they were not laden with those taking rides for pleasure. Instead the skiffs carried those who were forced to go to their places of business to see what damage had been wrought, or those going on some other similar errand which could not be put off.
At this hour the water is but a few feet lower than when it reached its crest at 9 o'clock Friday night. The fall is slow because of the immense quantity of water in the lower river, which is holding the water up here.
The town is still practically at a standstill. The industries which were forced to cease operations because of the high water have as not yet been able to resume. The street car lines are operating for a few blocks and the entire service is almost entirely worthless. The telephones in many cases are out of commission cutting off communication between people in the high and dry districts and those in houses still under the water. Linesmen were sent out the first thing Saturday morning into the district above the level of the high water to repair the instruments and string new lines, for failing telegraph poles had done great damage to the lines of both the National and Bell companies. The railroads are of course still out of business. It is not known when the local roads will be able to resume on either side of the river. Even with the waters receding to a considerable extent the track and roadbed will be in such a condition as to make the running of trains precarious in the extreme. With loss of work and physical damage the loss here will easily go past the million mark.
From Bell Isle to the fair ground and from the Ohio river to the Back river the island is still submerged beneath the water. Almost the entire South Side is also under water except a few blocks toward the east, which are up on the hillside. The country district is still in the wretched condition it has been for several days, In the business center of the city the water reached Main almost to the George R. Taylor store above Twelfth street on Main street to the Twelfth street entrance to the Stifel store. The intersection of Fourteenth and Market streets is still open to traffic only by means of skiffs with the water extending part way past the Hub on both Market and Fourteenth streets.
The wholesale district is of course flooded and as stated, the industrial plants are shut down. The retail stores have no business except in a few cases where people are forced to buy groceries or other immediate necessities. The electric lights are shut off, the water is exceedingly scarce with but one pump going at the pumping station and that not enough to keep the reservoir full, no electric light nor electric power and none too much gas. Conditions are virtually duplicated over the river. The disaster on the South Side in which more lives were lost than have been for many years in Wheeling, the destruction of the Scott lumber plant and residences in Bridgeport, various smaller fires, and the great devastation by the water have all combined to put Wheeling tight in the grip of the Giant Despair.