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Heavy snows in flood belt, 3-22-1936

Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information



Blizzard Intensifies Confusion In Stricken Communities. Pittsburgh In Darkness


Homeless Thousands in Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia Towns Face Privations



(Continued from page one.) valleys of the Ohio, Monongahela and Allegany rivers as Red Cross workers and other rescuers dug through, heavy debris, ever fearful new victims might be found to add to the staggering toll.

Western Pennsylvania's death total stood tonight at 83, including 56 in Pittsburgh. The number of lives lost in the area around Wheeling, W. Va„ rose to 18 with the recovery of three more unidentified bodies in a demolished structure on

Wheeling Island, in the middle of the Ohio river, where many residents refused even at the crest of the flood to embark in rescue boats.

Hundreds of injured lay in hospitals. Thousands will huddle Sunday in churches, schools, public buildings and make shift relief headquarters. Other thousands of idlers roamed the streets of the flood-besieged towns, several of which were patrolled by National Guardsmen to prevent pillaging of wrecked buildings.

WPA Workers Attack Debris

Chaos yielded on most fronts. The snow demoralized traffic but thousands of WPA workers attacked the tons of debris in the flood-wracked buildings to start the wheels of rehabilitation turning. The Department of Health in Pittsburgh moved to meet the sanitation problem announced enough typhoid antitoxin on hand to immunize 400,000 persons. Serum and food were on the way from other cities.

The snow storm caused no serious rise in the rivers. Weather bureau officials did not expect more high water unless a change in weather melts the snow and sends it into the subsiding rivers.

Six thousand WPA workers took up the job of clearing the streets of devastated Johnstown, where the task was appalling, with unofficial estimates of the homeless running around 60,000.

The whole vast Pittsburgh industrial area was laid waste, only the highlands escaping the deluge. Months of reconstruction, at incalculable expense lay ahead before the normal industrial and business life of the district could be restored. Steel companies, coal mines, department stores and nearly all forms of trade and commerce strove to arise from paralysis.

Guardsmen Patrol Towns

From many towns in the river valleys came reports of heroic efforts to restore order. Vandergrift, Pa., and Sharpsburg, a Pittsburgh suburb, and Johnstown were patrolled by the National Guard to halt looting in flooded districts. The number of persons living under temporary shelter ran into many thousands.

Many residents whose homes were undamaged still were without heat, and some without water.

Some restaurants could not supply coffee or butter. Those remaining open all night were packed with refugees.

Into the "Golden Triangle," heart of Pittsburgh's financial and business area, national guardsmen permitted no one at night without an identification card.


Cumberland Sunday Times


Collection Location:
Cumberland, Md.

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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