Great Flood and Cyclone Disasters in New York State

Transcribed and Contributed by Carol Dean


Edited by Thomas H. Russell copyright 1913

Loss of life as the result of floods in New York state was reported from Glens Falls March 27. A bridge there was swept away and two persons are said to have been drowned. In the eastern end of the state the Mohawk and Hudson Yalleys experienced the worst flood in years.

In Albany, power plants were put out of service, street car traffic was practically suspended and schools and factories closed. The south end of the city was under water and the police rescued residents there in boats.

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The flood situation in the Adirondacks was acute. The village of Luthern, with 200 inhabitants, was cut -off while half the town of Fort Edwards was innundated.

At Hornell, N. Y., part of the town was reported under water, bridges damaged and a dozen surrounding villages inundated. There was one death from drowning in the flood at Hornell. Portions of North Olean, N. Y., were under ten feet of water and much damage resulted.


The worst flood in the history of Troy, N. Y., occurred during the week of March 28. After  breaking all records and creeping up nearly two feet higher than the historic overflow of 1857, the water began to fall Friday evening, March 29, and receded rapidly. So far as was then known, there were no drownings or other fatalities, but the fire 1oss was heavy, the buildings in most cases being a total loss. Six, eight and in some eases ten feet of water prevented the firemen doing anything at all. Hundreds of people, particularly in the South End, were made homeless and all they had in the world was inmany cases destroyed. The loss cannot be calculated, but corporations, merchants and business men suffered heavily. National guardsmen patrolled the streets day and night. The Troy Gas Company was able to furnish light Friday night, which made conditions more bearable. There were, of course, no trolley ears and no electric light, all power plants in the Capital City district, as well as Mechanicsville and Spier Falls, being under water.

Good order was maintained without difficulty. The police and firemen all worked hard. Nobody suffered for food or lodging, but the property loss was enormous.

The Standard Press of Troy issued flood editions 8 x 11 inches on several days, and was the only newspaper printed in Troy during the flood.

Flood conditions were reported from several other points in Northern New York. In fact, the week will go down in history as unprecedented in the United States as a period of widespread damage from storm and flood.

Transcribed by Carol Dean

HTML by Debbie

Copyright NY ALHN, October 17, 1999

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