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Flood of 1913: Register News from March 28

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▼ 1913 Flood News Articles

- from the Wheeling Register, Friday, March 28, 1913, p.8

Flood Notes

The water made its way around the Klapprott residence at the corner of National Road and Glenwood station.

The Dieringer grocery, at the entrance to the lane, was well under water and very little of the contents were saved.

The Ohio Valley Drug company lost $2,000 worth of stock yesterday. This represents the merest fraction of their total stocks however.

The Market Auditorium company came forward yesterday afternoon with a proffer of the stalls along the arcade, for the use of homeless people.

Several slips along the National road are reported about Fulton, Glendale and other points as a result of the heavy rains. No serious damage has been done.

Much damage has been done to the Wheeling ball park by the flood stage. The grounds are entirely covered and as the management had but a few days ago started a number of men at work repairing the stands and had placed considerable repair material on the ground the loss wil be rather heavy.

Early Thursday morning ten-food wooded horses were placed in the B. & O. passenger station and the long oak benches at the station were lifted up on the props.

Steamboat activity is entirely suspended as it is impossible for any craft of any size to get under the bridges over the Ohio with the present prevailing stage of water.

Pianos, evidently taken from the flooded district, lined Fifteenth street two deep between Chapline and Eoff streets. The sight caused much comment, as it was very unusual.

As usual complaint was made that ferrymen were charging exorbitant rates. Ordinarily it cost the unfortunate anywhere from fifty cents to a dollar or more to be hauled a square.

Up the lane A. D. Mead sustained considerable loss by not being able to move his furniture to the second flood, all of his chickens, including Buff Orpingtons and Leghorns, were drowned.

Considerable valuable freight is said to have been caught in the P. C. C. & St. L. R. R. company's freight station by the rapid rise of the river. The water came up so fast that it was impossible to get all of the freight out.

Wheeling and Moundsville are entirely cut off to travel, slips along the narrows having caused much trouble. Men were reported to have been working on the road all day to get it in shape.

Charles W. Brockunier and family are in California. No one entered their residence to remove the furniture and at midnight last night there was five feet of water on the first floor.

Mail deliveries were also greatly crippled yesterday by the water. There were but two deliveries yesterday, on at 7 a.m., and the other at 1 p.m. Owing to the fact that nearly all of the railroad lines are tied up the mail has been very light.

The entire fire department responded to a call from box No. 54 yesterday morning at 5 o'clock at the residence of Charles Kite, at Twenty-eighth and Eoff streets. The fire was caused by a gas explosion and did not amount to much, but the entire department responded, under orders from Chief Rose, in order to immediately check any possible disastrous fire. The sales during flood time will cover the sales of the entire year.

Water in over the Panhandle Traction lines above the Terminal bridge having reached that point about noon yesterday. The high water about the Terminal bridge has forced the Martins Ferry people to go to the hillside in getting between Wheeling and that point.

The L. E. Sands residence, at the corner of South Penn and Ohio streets had just been completely decorated by interior decorators and it certainly was distressing to see the water pour in and completely ruin the handsome mural work.

Many suburbanites took advantage of the transportation to the city which Manager Warfield, of the West Virginia Traction & Electric company arranged, using the B. & O. shuttle to Mt. de Chantal, thence by the electric car to Elm Grove.

The two bridges over the river and the street fronting on the river, not affected by the water, attracted thousands of sightseers to the water front. The high river seems to have an irresistible charm for many and hundreds stood about by the hour watching the swift sweep past.

Police Chief Hastings yesterday received a long distance appeal from H. Selkowitch, of the chamber of commerce of Zanesville, asking for help. Zanesville is from 5 to 10 feet under water, martial law prevails and the city's food supply is running short.

The dyeing and blueing establishment of the Stifel calico works was closed for the second time in history yesterday on account of high water. The dyeing establishment is situated lower than the rest of the plant and was affected by the water at noon.

Telephone service in and about the town was greatly handicapped yesterday on account of the high water and great inconvenience was the result among the marooned flood sufferers who could not get into communication with the outside world. The Bell system is said to have suffered more heavily as in many places wires were under water and poles were down.

The creeks and smaller streams in this vicinity were still bank full yesterday morning, although considerable of the water was backed in from the river, the creeks being unable to throw any water out into the river on account of the strong current there.

Owing to the very high stage of the river yesterday owners of house boats found some difficulty in finding harbors of safety owing to the fact that the current on all covered streets was very swift and but few places of safety were afforded along the river front.

A member of the Joseph Spiedel company stated yesterday that the loss to the wholesale merchants on Main street would be more acute this time than ever before, because they had such a short warning to prepare for the worst flood since 1884. He said they had a serious loss to their flour stock.

A rather peculiar feature of the present flood is the apparent absence of small drift. Logs, trees, small sheds, etc. passed in but small numbers. The absence of such drift is credited to the fact that the Ohio valley suffered a flood in January which cleaned out most of the drift.

Railroad traffic has been entirely paralyzed by the flood. The terminal depot and passenger sheds are nearly entirely under water and not even a switching engine could be run on the line yesterday. The Ohio River line is entirely submerged and other lines are affected. The only open line yesterday was the B. & O. between Pittsburgh and this point.

It was a pitiful sight to see the removal of sick people from dwelling in various parts of the city. In numerous cases invalids and bed-fast persons were carried into boats through second story windows. In one case a woman with seven children, the youngest six weeks, and two of them twins of eighteen month, were taken from their Island home in a boat. One of the twins was suffering from pneumonia.

Business in the retail district was practically at a stand-still all day yesterday. Dry goods, millinery and general stores were vacant, and there were very few people in the shopping district except those who were sight-seeing. Most of the stores only had a few clerks on duty, but they were not kept busy. Many of the clerks who live in the flooded sections were glad to get away and attend to various duties at their homes.

T. P. McLaughlin, proprietor of a saloon at Twelfth and Water streets, inaugurated an original scheme when he hired the owners of the barge Sterling to put on board all of the barrels of booze contained in the house. In former floods Mr. McLaughlin sent his stuff up street. Sometimes the stage of water did not warrant his moving and the expense of hauling was lost, but in all events he generally had to pay a big bill for hauling. With the loaded barge he will have his property at his door when the river begins to recede.

Many last night feared a food famine, but it is thought there will be little actual suffering for want of food, thanks to the generosity of the charitably disposed.

A fine two-story frame house went to pieces on one of the piers of the steel bridge yesterday afternoon. The wonder of it all, however, is that it found its way so far downstream without meeting a similar fate.

The South Side is practically isolated from the main section of the city, except by ferry. An express wagon did a good business over the creek bridge for a few hours yesterday afternoon.

Island residents will lose thousands of dollars as a result of the high water. Many beautiful lawns will be ruined, while fences have been carried away, to say nothing of the damage to the houses.

"Have a bus at the station to meet us," wired Manage James Lee's Orpheum attractions from a Pennsylvania city. "Come on, went back the reply, "and you'll find a canal boat in waiting to carry you to the theatre."

Although the present flood is one of the largest in the history of the Ohio river, there is one consolation that can be cherished by sufferers, and that is that the weather is not entirely unpleasant and there is an absence of heavy ice in the river, consequently the damage will be lighter in the flooded districts, as water and water alone will have to be contended with.

On all railroad bridges over Wheeling creek coal cars, loaded freight cars and other massive movables were placed out upon the structures to keep them from going out. The B. & O. bridges and Pennsylvania bridge at the mouth of Wheeling creek were entirely submerged and the water was half way up on the loaded coal cars that were holding down the structures.

Carrying a Bible in her hand, her eyes full of tears, an old woman called at the general delivery window of the post office yesterday and asked if any mail was being received from Dayton. Of course there wasn't. Then she said that her people all lived there -- right in the stricken section, and she had grave fears that they have perished among the hundreds of others.

Owners of flat-boats who established transfers at Market street bridge reaped a rich harvest of quarters and half-dollars yesterday as there were many hundreds of residents of the lowlands of South Wheeling who abandoned their homes and sought refuge in the center of the city. All such persons were forced to use the boats at the creek bridge to get to dry land.

With water covering Main street from the creek to Twelfth, varying in depth from two to four or more feet, wholesale dealers and merchants along that business thoroughfare entirely abandoned their houses and stores. Every damageable object had been moved out. A bad feature of the high water in this section is that the produce dealers cannot supply the demand for edibles and as a result a slight famine may be felt.

The old reliable North Wheeling pump went back on its patrons yesterday, just at a time where folks needed pure water most.

The cold, getting on the scene at the eleventh hour, helped out a lot.

The Locke Shoe company and Hub clothing store are trying the plan of damming out the water.

The police, especially those who have been assigned to flood district duty, are receiving the thanks of many for their activities in relieving flood sufferers. The police have done gallant work and deserve much commendation as they have been carrying people from flooded houses, carrying food back and forth and helping families to move to higher ground.

The Bell Telephone company pressed some of its male employes into service last evening, since many of the girls were unable to be at work. The repair men are working day and night but in spite of this fact hundreds of telephones on both sides of the river are "out." There is practically no service on the Island on either the Bell or National.

In the suburbs, especially about Glenwood, Fulton and Leatherwood lane, where Wood's run intersects and empties into the creek, there was a terrific current. All the park in front of Woodsdale was covered and the water extended up the pike in front of Woodsdale Motor Car company's building, getting deeper as it went up Leatherwood lane.

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