Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Flood of 1913 - April 5

The Register-Leader, Saturday, April 5, 1913

6000 Daily Are Being Fed

Between 5000 and 6000 people are being fed daily in Marietta by the commissaries recently established.

The main commissary is in the College gymnasium, while the sub-commissaries are located in the Norwood school building, Fort school building and the Roberts barn on the West Side.  Prepared meals are being served to several hundred in the high school building.

Early in the morning the sufferers line up at the college building and it is late in the afternoon before the entire number is provided for.  A number of people are taking advantage of the help so freely offered them and a number who it is known have ample means to provide for themselves are applying for aid.

A card index system is being used and the name of everyone who is given provisions is placed on file.

There is plenty of all kinds of provisions, but the supply of bedding and clothing is very small.

Gasoline Boat Line

Owing to the condition of the O. & L. K. railroad tracks, a gasoline boat line will probably be established between this city and McConnelsville.  It is arranged that the boat will leave here every day carrying the mail to points up the Muskingum river.  The plan is being considered and will probably be put in force.

Wire For Lime

Major Wadhams, of the regular army, has advised the Relief Committee to secure 1,000 barrels of lime at once to spread over the entire city.

Chairman B. F. Strecker has wired General Speaks for this amount and it will be sent to this city as soon as possible.  The lime is required, owing to the length of time the mud has remained on the streets.

150 Men At Work

One hundred and fifty men were drafted from the bread line and taken in charge by the police.  They are being worked in three shifts of eight hours each, working night and day until the street work is completed.

No excuses were accepted and the men were fed and provided for.  The money they earn will be paid to their families by the city.

Brent Powell, of the P. M. & I. U. Ry. company was in the city today and offered his assistance.

He also brought with him twenty-five barrels of lime which will be spread over the mud in the business section, this afternoon.  He is conferring with the committee in regard to drafting laborers.

Marietta's Disaster

One week ago Wednesday - but yesterday it seems to the weary and sleepless folks of Marietta - the afternoon newspapers announced the coming of a flood which at that time seemed would be no greater than the ordinary ones of recent years.

But scarcely had the papers reached the hands of their readers than the warning was broadcast that in the immediate future lay grave danger.

Alas, yesterday, the day on which Marietta was proud of its wealth, and of its homes, and of its industries, is gone.

Now all has been laid low or defaced by a remorseless torrent that apparently had no beginning or end, just width, and that for miles through a rich city section.  Scarcely believable is the fact that eighty-five per cent of the property wealth of Marietta was covered with water.  But it is a true statement from authoritative source.

The property and business loss to the city has been uncounted.  It will be long before anyone will know accurately what the toll of the flood in dollars will be.

In some respects the Marietta flood was worse than the one at Dayton.  At Dayton the destruction was sudden and complete, while in Marietta the waters came slowly.  It was an awful, never-to-be-forgotten sight - that of seeing the good people of this city stand by and watch the fruits of their labors carried to destruction.  The width and depth of the two streams at our door added to the remorselessness of the attack.

With the dawn of a a week ago Thursday, the sleeping populace awoke with a startle at the roar of mighty waters about their homes.  The night before the rivers appeared to be as safe as miles away.  But higher and higher they came till darkness with its chill from off the torrents fell heavily over the valley of gloom and destruction.  Lights went out.  Gas fires were drowned.

People who at the first word of warning moved to their second floors were preparing to move to their third floors if they had them; others to their attics or roof tops or onto the few barges that could be rushed from the river front.

Time and the oncoming waters were entered in a race for life and valuables.  Grim death lurked, but lost.

Very soon thoughts of saving homes and other property turned to thoughts of being saved and of saving loved ones.  Yet it was with reluctancy that many finally fled, leaving everything at the mercy of the waters.  With it all there were many thrilling rescues.

Homes that were not completely submerged or carried away were buried to a depth that left none of their contents untouched by the muddy waters.  The savings of a lifetime have been lost by many.  Some have no place that they can call home.

The gruelling work of rehabilitation goes slowly on today.  Only those who have lived through these scenes of terror can have any conception of the havoc wrought by such a great deluge.

The Marietta flood as a part of the terrible catastrophe over all Ohio takes rank with the great calamities of recent times.

For the moment rich and poor are on an equality of need.  Industries are idle, railroad traffic is paralyzed and bridges are swept away.  State and federal aid is needed.  The very means of living are obliterated, while want and disease are on every hand.

Right now quick help is real help.  The people of this city will ask no odds of the world once they are on their feet, but for the moment they are prostrate.  The response to the calls for food, clothing and shelter during the days of the flood and since the water left the streets have been liberal.  Greater needs than these, however, are ours.

The people of Marietta have been dealt a blow from which they can but stagger in an attempt to regain their former footing.

Burn Porch Lights

Owing to the present condition of the city lighting plant, people residing in the residence district of Marietta having porch lights are asked to keep them burning throughout the night.

At the present time these sections of the city are in total darkness except where a small amount of light creeps through an occasional window.  If the residents who have the porch lights will comply with this request, it will be appreciated.

Marietta, Columbus & Cleveland R. R.

Notice to the Public.

We have resumed regular freight and passenger service between West Marietta and all other points on our line and are in position to handle freight and passengers to and via points on the T. & O. C. so far as such service is now in effect.  A temporary freight and ticket office has been opened on the West Side at Harmar street and the railroad tracks, and any information may be secured through such agent or from the undersigned.

Consigners or shippers in Marietta Proper must arrange to receive or deliver any shipments for our line at the West Side, and we are not in position to receive or deliver freight this side of the river.  Passenger trains depart from West Marietta at 8:23 A.M. and 2:08 P.M., and arrive at 12:24 P.M. and 6:12 P.M.

This arrangement will be in effect until further notice.

F. G. Smith
General Freight & Passenger Agent.

News of the River

The stage of the river at the local wharf, this morning, was 16 feet and falling.  The Joe Fowler left for Pittsburgh this afternoon at one o'clock.  The Rainbow cleared for St. Marys at one o'clock this afternoon.

Boil the Water

Health Officer Dr. McGee stated this morning, that at the present time there were only a few minor cases of sickness in the city.  He again urged the people to boil all water used for drinking or cooking purposes.

Cleaning Streets

The members of No. 1 fire department volunteered their services this morning, to assist in cleaning the streets.  The men commenced at Fourth and Scammel streets and are flushing with two sets of hose and a good water pressure.

Rescue Dog and Pig

Attracted by the bark of a dog from midstream, two men in a boat rowed alongside a barn which floated down the Ohio, on Wednesday.  Inside they found a hungry bird dog and a pig.  The animals were brought ashore and appropriated by a refugee.

Restaurant Opens

The Superior Restaurant on Second street, is the only eating house in the city open for business.  The place was opened Wednesday, and thousands have been fed there.

Idle Men Must Work

Owing to the demand for laborers to clean the streets and the large number of able-bodied men who are being provided for and who refuse to work, M. M. Rose and J. C. Brenan were appointed upon a committee, Friday evening, at the meeting of the General Relief Committee to confer with mayor Leeper in regard to drafting these men.

The matter will be discussed at the meeting of the relief committee this afternoon, and it is believed that definite action will be taken.

The same system was established in Parkersburg and the flooded district of that city is now free from mud.

WANTED - 100 men and 30 teams.  Apply at the City Building at 6 A.M. or noon.

The Grand Theatre opened yesterday and delighted a large audience with moving pictures.

Pontoon Bridge Will Be Built

Marietta cannot secure a pontoon bridge from the government, according to a statement made by Congressman George White this afternoon, who has taken the matter up with the Secretary of War.

The government only has two bridges and these are both in use.

Mayor Leeper and Service Director Meisenhelder have taken the matter under consideration and have plans under way whereby the city will build a temporary pontoon bridge.  The work will be commenced as soon as possible.

Offer Use of Car

The Parkersburg, Marietta and Inter Urban Traction Company has offered the use of a car for hauling the mud and rubbish from this city.  Monday, several flat cars are promised, and the plan is to have three squads of fifty men each, to throw rubbish into the cars which will then be carried outside the city and dumped.

The plan was tried at Parkersburg and it proved a great success.  There the men were taken from the bread line and put on an eight hour shift and in 38 hours the streets were very clean.  The plan may go into effect tomorrow, and many of the local business men are willing to back it financially.

Police In Charge

Police were stationed at each of the commissaries this afternoon and they are taking all the able-bodied men from the line.  These men are given the choice of working or going without provisions.  It is understood that seven agreed to work but the others refused.  If this plan does not work the men will be drafted.

Police Assist

The members of the police department have volunteered to help clean the streets of the city.  Some have gone to work on the West Side, while Officers Chamberlain and Wolfe are cleaning Front street near police headquarters.

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