WV cities start flood cleanup, 3-22-1936
WEST VIRGINIA CITIES START FLOOD CLEANUP
Point Pleasant Still Under Eleven Feet Of Water As Fear To Life Increases
800 LEAVE HOMES
Attention Now Being Centered On Relief Aids To The Thousands of Victims In State
Eleven feet of water in the streets of Point Pleasant gave that town fears of a menace to life as the Ohio river continued rising while cities to the north were cleaning up debris of the worst flood in their history.
Mayor J. B. Couch of Point Pleasant declared last night, "if the water goes much higher this will be much more serious than we expected."
The city has spent three days preparing for the inundation and 800 persons were moved from their homes. Relief headquarters were set up in the council chambers with a pontoon bridge leading from there to high land. Then the water flowed through the council chambers and the bridge was useless.
Couch directed rescue workers to be ready to move residents from second story apartments.
Crest Nearly Reached;
Weather forecaster R.P. Powell in Parkersburg said the waiter would (Continued on page two.) not rise more than two feet in Point Pleasant.
Ravenswood, St. Mary's, Parkersburg, Huntington and other cities below New Martinsville were comparatively safe with much less damage than they expected, though the water still was rising at Huntington.
In that city, disaster relief chairman George S. Wallace declared:
"We've got enough organization here to carry on a war and nothing for anybody to do."
He added 450 families had been moved under his direction to higher ground, and probably 50 or 75 families in the Guyandotte district had moved without notifying his headquarters.
Wellsburg, Wheeling, Moundsville, New Martinsville and other cities in that northern industrial area were a vastly different picture.
Tons Of Food Provided
In Wellsburg, where thousands annually go to be married, trucks today in almost a continuous parade, bringing tons of food and tanks of water for hundreds of families who still were homeless despite the retreat of a devastating flood.
The water there, which Wednesday night and Thursday was 22 feet deep in the principal business street, was back within its banks, but it left a city in destitution.
Tons of debris and mud kept the refugees out of the houses and they remained in schools and other public buildings; the water supply was cut off for fear of contamination; only half the homes had gas because many pipes were full of water; doctors warned of the danger of typhoid and state workers began a campaign of vaccination.
Two Dead Accounted For
Courthouse attaches estimated the property damage at almost $1,000,000. Two dead were accounted for, Elmer Leonard and a child named Deneen who Leonard tried to save from the flood.
Wheeling saw the water flow out of its streets, leaving untold damage to the city while Wheeling Island— a residence suburb in the Ohio river —still was a scene of desolation. The river still covered the two ends of the land and all were kept off the island except those with police permits. Rescue workers were trying to determine the extent of damage and seeking bodies.
Red Cross workers listed 14 dead in the Wheeling metropolitan area, including the two in Wellsburg, one each in Martins Ferry, Bellaire, Ohio, and two in Follansbee, W. Va.
Cumberland Sunday Times
Floods, Maryland, Cumberland, History; Cumberland (Md.),History.
Western Maryland, 1936