State Map, St. Patrick's Day Flood, 1936


According to an article in the Blairsville Dispatch, the United States Weather Bureau reported that 1936 was the coldest winter on record. In many parts of Pennsylvania, the ground was frozen solid up to four feet and the mountains were covered with ice and snow. On the evening of March 15, 1936, rain began to fall and continued to drench the state for 50 hours. Rivers rose very rapidly, overflowing into nearby tributaries which could not handle the great influx of water. Mining operations were compromised and work in a number of mines, including McIntyre, was temporarily halted. Many bridges were damaged or washed away and railroad service was disrupted. Property losses were in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Flood waters covered a large part of the state. The Ohio River Valley section of West Virginia, the southern section of Ohio, and parts of northwestern Maryland were also affected by the flood waters.

Blairsville Dispatch, "The Flood of 1936," March 16, 1936.

Illustration: courtesy of Archives Department, Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Clarence D. Stephenson, Indiana County 175th Anniversary History, vol.2 
(Indiana, Pennsylvania: Halldin Publishing Company, 1989), 519.

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