Friday, March 15, 2013

Flood of 1913 - April 9

The Register-Leader, Wednesday, April 9, 1913:

Bridge Damage Is Estimated

The damage done to the bridges of Washington county by the recent flood is estimated at between $100,000 and $150,000, according to statements made by the County Commissioners this morning.  The estimate does not include the local bridge.

Acting upon the orders of the State Highway Commissioner, the County commissioners prepared this estimate Tuesday afternoon.  The report will be sent to the highway commissioner and he will in turn appeal to the legislature for aid.  If the appeal is heard Washington county will get state aid to assist in erecting new bridges and repairing the damage done by the waters.

The following bridges located in this county suffered from the flood:  two bridges in Belpre township carried away; the Lowell bridge and both approaches washed away.  The Beverly, Big Run, Rainbow, congress Creek and the Murphy bridge, near Newport, were all taken away.

The draw span of the canal bridge at Lowell was also demolished.  The floor was taken off the upper canal bridge at Lowell.  The Mackey bridge, near Cornerville, was badly damaged, and the block floor on the lower Duck Creek bridge was washed away.

The commissioners are also taking up the matter of repairing roads.  Tuesday afternoon Commissioner Campbell awarded a contract to Joseph Barnett to grade a piece of road in Dunham township.  Arrangements were made to establish a free ferry at Lowell, which will be operated until the new bridge is erected.  The same will be provided for Beverly as soon as possible.

Many Rescues On West Side

Several rescues were made on the West Side when the flood was nearing its crest.

Harry Shiers, a well known blacksmith of this city, narrowly escaped a horrible death, after he had been rescued from his home on Maple street in a Bell Telephone boat.

The rescue party had just pushed away from the building when a large telephone pole which was torn loose by the swift current, fell across the boat.  Mr. Shiers was pinned under it and for a time it was thought that the boat would capsize.

Harry Adams, one of the telephone employes, showed great presence of mind, and lifted the pole from the boat before the party was plunged into the icy waters.

Mr. Shiers was seriously injured and for a time it was believed that his back was broken.  He was brought to this side of the river and taken to the home of his father on Third street.  Medical aid was summoned, and after a close examination it was found that no bones were broken.  He was confined to his bed for several days, but is now able to be about his work.

"Doc" Collins, a familiar figure about the streets of the city, was taken from the second story of his home on Gilman street by Harry Pfaff after the aged man had stood in water up to his waist for several hours.

Mrs. T. Marion was taken from her bed early in the morning, just as the water reached the mattress.

Marietta Daily Times, April 9, 1913:

Heroism Is Shown By Many

People who saved lives during the flood are so numerous in Marietta that little account has been taken of them.  Scores of men, women and children were taken from houses that afterward toppled over or were swept out into the channel of the rivers and carried away, many of them being broken up very soon after they had been vacated.

In many cases the rescue work was done by neighbors who were fortunate in having boats.  In others police officers, militiamen, passersby, or hired boatmen rowed to upper story windows and took out the occupants who had thought they would be safe on their second floors, only to discover later that the water was coming after them so steadily that they would have to move completely out or lose their lives.

The deepest of gratitude and admiration is due various members of the police force, the National Guard and other persons, but the most daring and effective work that has been reported was performed by Lieut. Rolla G. Putnam, of the police force, when he rowed in inky darkness to houses near the river bank just south of the fair grounds and brought safely to land a number of persons who had been marooned there.

This was done during the terrible night when the water was rising rapidly.  There was a tremendously powerful current in the Muskingum.  The city was in darkness.  The cries of the people in the houses at the end of the street could be heard.  There were boats to be had, but no one had appeared who was willing to attempt the perilous trip, until Putnam arrived.  Even against the current that threatened any boat that was given into its grasp many would have attempted the trip by daylight, but in the darkness they felt that they would simply be throwing their lives away.  Putnam, however, started out into the darkness alone.  He got through safely with several passengers.  Again he ventured into the swirling, rushing darkness and this time he came back with more refugees.  After the most dangerous part of his work was done he fell into the river but was able to support himself until aid reached him and he was with difficulty drawn back into his boat.

Lieut. Putnam's feat was one of the most heroic in the annals of Marietta.
Mattresses and Bedding Are Now Greatest Need of the Flood Sufferers in Marietta

Conditions that now exist in this city were discussed Tuesday afternoon at the regular meeting of the executive committee on relief, which was held in their rooms on the second floor of the Y.M.C.A. building.

From reports of the committee only about half the usual number of persons are being fed, while the lines at the various commissaries are falling off.  The great demand at the present time is for bedding, especially mattresses.  Two hundred mattresses have been distributed and six hundred more which arrived last night from Wheeling, W. Va., will be given out today.  An order has been placed for 1,000 more by the housing committee.  The committee has already disposed of 1,000 blankets to the flood sufferers.

Persons who have been made homeless by the flood refused to occupy the tents that were provided, as they did not wish to enter a camp.  A ruling has now been made that persons who care to have a tent can take it and pitch it wherever they choose.  Since the new ruling has been made it is probable that many will place tents near the homes of friends or in their own yards.

Tents were pitched on Harmar hill and in Camp Tupper for those who needed shelter, but very few of them were used.  A number of people have been given shelter in the building formerly occupied by the Norwood hotel.

Elmer D. Smith and W. A. Decker, of the building inspecting committee, have condemned about twelve structures.  Several of these are business houses, while the remainder are residences in the lower part of the city and on the West Side.

Tuesday was the wedding anniversary of Capt. and Mrs. Wilson, of the Salvation Army, and a purse of money was given them by the executive committee.  Both Capt. Wilson and his wife have been hard workers in giving relief to the flood sufferers and deserve much praise.

No comments: