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Pittsburgh freed of peril, 3-24-1936

Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information




Again Supplied with Drinking Water, Utility Services and Food—Damage Estimated at $225,000,000—Refugees Return

PITTSBURGH, March 23 Danger of disease and famine all but disappeared and industry moved to put its house in order today while the forces of reconstruction began the task of rehabilitation in the desolate 200-mile area where flood waters demoralized the pursuits of some 4,000,000 inhabitants.

Pure drinking water poured back into the reservoirs, heat and utility service slowly was being restored, and carloads of food rolled in to relieve the distress of the thousands of homeless.

Transportation was returning; big steel companies began clearing out the mud-ravaged mills and city and state officials pursued with the federal government negotiations for the relief of the destitute.

107 Dead in Two States

The death toll for Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia stood at 107. Revised figures for West Virginia accounted for fourteen dead, instead of the eighteen previously reported. Twelve of these were in the Wheeling area. Pittsburgh counted fifty-seven dead and the remainder of western Pennsylvania 36.

Damage remained at incalculable figures although some estimates put it at more than $225,000,000.

Authorities were cheered by the absence of signs of epidemic disease, but held great supplies of serum ready to cope with any outbreak. Many hundreds were inoculated. Free typhoid clinics were set up by the Red Cross.

Trains and airplanes brought more medical supplies, food, cots and blankets. Telephone, street car and power services were nearly normal in metropolitan Pittsburgh, although many homes and buildings still were without electric lights after five days.

The dead were carried to their graves after solemn ceremonies attended by many persons in the smaller communities.

At Washington, Governor George. H. Sarle said an extra session of the Pennsylvania legislature is "practically inevitable".

$28,821,692 Damage

The cleanup drive sped at rapid tempo in the stricken communities of Wheeling, W. Va., and Johnstown, Pa., hardest hit outside of Pittsburgh by the mighty upsurge of the rivers.

After a survey by a committee of experts, city assessor M. M. Chudy, of Johnstown, estimated the flood damage there at $28,821,692. Exclusive of destroyed bridges and streets. This compared with an estimate of $10,000,000 damage in the great flood of 1886 which took more than 2,000 lives at Johnstown after the sudden bursting of a dam.

Refugees Return Home

Thousands of refugees flocked back toward their homes, but health authorities saw to it none moved in unless the houses were cleaned and dried out. The flood broke up many families, sending them fleeing to the highlands. They came back to streets with slime, debris and broken furniture. For days they have been housed in churches, schools and public buildings.


Page #:

Cumberland Daily News


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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