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Store Stocks and Fixtures Carried Away, 3-18-1936

Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information



Dozens of Plate Glass Show Windows Crushed Under Pressure of Mad Waters


Freight Cars Derailed As Tracks Between Warehouses Here Are Washed Away

Two muddy fast-moving The Narrows entrance rivers poured down from through Mechanic and Centre streets yesterday afternoon, literally eating out everything before them.

Their path was one of untold damage and destruction. Wreckage, left in their wake this morning included a flotsam and jetsam of everything that one employs or uses in his daily life.

At the McKaig Machine Works, the swirling water swept through its building and property, depositing a great collection of wreckage, lumber, household goods, rubber tires, canned oils, greases and other material that eddied around in the water basin.

Mid-City baseball park this morning was a pool of water, and the canal basin and canal almost level with the bank.

"Finders Keepers"

Here hundreds, men, women and children fished and salvaged every variety of valuable article.

The Western Maryland Railway company sustained tremendous losses. The flood water tore and swept through its warehouses, on Mechanic street carrying off everything except heavy metal shipments.

Freight cars were derailed on the tracks between the warehouses. Articles carried by the flood waters lodged in the car wheels. The tracks were left in water and mud.

The Prichard Company, the Cumberland Tire Company, and the American Oil Company station adjoining were simply wrecked by the power of the waters, which swept in front and rear and tore out walls, light standards, pumps, and swept away much of the stock.

The Seinla Garage, as did other garages, moved much automobile stock and vehicles to the floors above.

A boat on South Mechanic street at William street, was used to remove women marooned in homes.

A Civilian Conservation Corps truck, manned by CCC members waded on Baltimore street and removed employees, who had been marooned all night in stores.

The Crystal Laundry and other business houses had damage and water in their buildings. On Liberty, Harrison, Williams, South Centre and South Mechanic streets, all the area surrounding was devastated, with water in the first floors of dwellings, windows and doors torn out with a deposit of mud left as a reminder of the night of flood-swept streets.

In rear of the Footer Dye Works, at Howard street, the Cessna Lumber Company, and the Storage yard of George Hazelwood, (Continued on Page Two}


contractor, several acres extent was the depository of the wreckage and material brought down by the waters. The water was stopped here by the high embankment of the Western Maryland-Baltimore & Ohio connection, and then swerved out on Wineow street under the overhead bridge.

Tons of debris lay everywhere with the flood's toll.

Towpath Levee Holds

Between the C. & O. canal levee and the raging river, which was slowly dropping since this morning, a narrow ribbon of stone and earth still held. It was eaten into and undermined at places. Hundreds of sight-seers walked up to this bank.

The two Western Maryland bridges crossing into Ridgeley, W. Va., and the "Blue" or interstate bridge at Johnson street, still held on their abutments, despite the pounding from the raging river.

At both railroad bridges, tons of broken house, framing, logs, drift and trees, piled up under the girders. Oil cans were left fastened in the iron bridge bases on the concrete abutments.

Although sandbags had been piled yesterday afternoon around the Federal Court House and Post Office basement windows and entrance, this protection was useless as the flood waters rose last night to a point estimated fifteen feet above the pavement.

The basement was flooded. Under Postmaster James O. Shriver, postal employes worked all night and removed postal matter to the floor above as well as supplies stored in the basement. The mail room floor was covered with water and mud. Postal service was at a standstill today. Some of the carriers were unable to reach the postoffice last night to either bring in collection box mail or distribute mail. Assistant Postmaster Henry Koelker expected to get the malls back in operation today.

More Destruction

The Potomac Lumber Company had its entire stock of timber carried away, along with buildings. The truckman's headquarters, recently erected by Gross's Service Station, collapsed due to undermining.

The entire American Oil Company's gasoline station was destroyed due to the foundation being washed out Numerous tanks from this source were seen floating down the creek and on Centre and Mechanic streets.

Zimmerla's Repair Shop collapsed and houses on Mechanic street were bulged out in front due to the force of the water from behind, while windows and doors were broken and torn out.


Page #:

Cumberland Evening Times


Collection Location:
LaVale, Maryland

Floods, Maryland, Cumberland, History; Cumberland (Md.),History.

Western Maryland, 1936

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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