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Williamsport And Hancock Still Buried Under Water, 3-19-1936

Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


Williamsport And Hancock Still Buried Under Water

Flood Receding Only Slightly; Towns Without Light; Persons Able To Reach Only Second Stories of Inundated Homes In Boats; Property Losses Will Run Into Thousands of Dollars

Hagerstown, Md., March 19. — Flood conditions at Williamsport were reported as but slightly improved this morning. The Potomac has receded two feet since midnight when the 'crest of 49.8 feet was reached, over five feet higher than the Johnstown flood of 1889. Continued decline of water is expected.

The bridge over the Potomac at Williamsport is still standing and apparently undamaged. It is the only bridge left on the river between Hancock and Harpers Ferry. No traffic allowed as several spans on West Virginia side still under water.

Williamsport flooded on two sides by Potomac and the Conococheague creek. River freighted with small buildings, trees and all kinds of debris with probably a hundred buildings in and around Williamsport swept away. All families evacuated homes earlier. The Red Cross and town officials are caring for homeless.

Williamsport has been without electric power and lights for twentyfour hours but both services expected to be resumed today. State policemen and a force of Hagerstown patrolmen are assisting in the handling of traffic at Williamsport.

The property loss at Williamsport expected to run into the thousands of dollars. Officials say it is impossible at this time to estimate.

Dr. W. Ross Cameron, county health officer, left this morning for Hancock, the hardest hit town along the Potomac with the possible exception of Cumberland, Md. He will canvass the situation from a sanitary standpoint and administer antitoxin against typhoid. Dr. Cameron advised the residents of the town yesterday to begin boiling all drinking water.

The property damage at Hancock expected to total two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

The water is receding from the center of Hancock, where the main street was flooded to a depth of 15 feet. Town officials made provisions for caring for 200 persons left homeless with the Red Cross sent bedding and supplies. Miss Lilla Biays was rescued from the second story of her home.

Hancock, like Williamsport, was in darkness last night. The Hancock High School was among the scores of buildings flooded and damaged.

Three spans of the bridge over the Potomac at Hancock went out yesterday afternoon.

Hancock Still Under Water

Hancock, Md., March 19. - The turbid flood waters of the Potomac withdrew partially from the lower part of this town today, revealing ruined furniture, houses askew on their foundations and slimy, mudcovered streets.

Joseph Wolfe, a resident, estimated the water which had reached a level of 40 feet above normal last night— six feet above its 1889 mark—had fallen about 25 feet today. Wolfe said families could reach the second floors of their flooded homes by boat.

Traffic entering the town was restricted to one small road. There was at least ten feet of water over the main route into the town.

The force of the currents that swirled through the town yesterday and last night moved many of the houses in the flooded area. Practically all their furnishings were found to be worthless when the water went down.

Mayor R. B. Hess estimated the damage at about $200,000.

About 25 persons who could not be placed with private families slept last night on the floor of the fire (Continued On Page 8)


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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