With its low self-esteem and high urban blight, Hartford is the ultimate underdog city. Sad City Hartford documents the joys, sorrows and eccentricities of New England's Rising Star.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The 1936 Flood

Ever since we attended Paper Mania a few weeks ago we've found ourselves browsing around the web and looking at old postcards. If anyone has ever done any late night web surfing, you are probably aware that Ebay is the most dangerous of all late night web sites. Late night Ebaying is how you end up with a lot of 10 identical Whalers pennants. Seemed like such a good idea at the time.

We recently picked up this gem of a postcard depicting the March 1936 Morgan Street flooding. Now this looked like a little too much of a flood to be caused by an overflowing Park River, so off to the research lab (Google) we went. We found this info on CT History Online, a gem of a website for Connecticut history.

"On March 12, 1936, rain began falling across Connecticut, as well as all of New England, and poured down for the next nine days. Fourteen inches of rain, coupled with melting snows from the area's mountains, unleashed on Connecticut the greatest floods in its history to that date. The Connecticut and Farmington Rivers and all of their tributaries became raging torrents. Water and ice flows tore out bridges, highways, roads, and railways. The dam at New Hartford burst, and homes and buildings were washed away or destroyed. The waters at Hartford rose to a level of 8.6 feet higher than any previous flood level on record, flooding most of the downtown commercial area. Fourteen thousand people were left homeless, several were dead or missing, and epidemic disease threatened the population. The National Guard was called to action as the ravaging floods paralyzed business, traffic, communication, and home life, as the cities and towns along the rivers became the principal centers of destruction. While loss of life was small, damages exceeded $100 million, making it the costliest New England weather event to that time. "

We also found this really cool post from CT Museum Quest which has an amazing picture of a marker on the Polish National Home indicating how high the water level reached in the 1936 flood. Unbelievable!  So we learned something about history and about a cool Hartford landmark. Learning isn't all that bad so we guess late night Ebaying isn't all that bad. Until the next purchase.

No comments:

Post a Comment