FLOOD OF 1907
March 13, 1907: When the flood of March 1907 deluged the city at the confluence of three rivers, Pittsburg was spelled without
its h.

This disaster smashed previous flood records set in 1832 and 1884 because the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers rose to a
height above 36.6 feet. After rain began falling on March 12, the rivers bulged with debris, ice floes and even small out buildings
from farms. In Downtown, water covered Sixth Street, surrounded the Wabash railway terminal and the Pittsburg & Lake Erie
Railroad station.

During the height of the flood, John S. Bell, superintendent of the Humane Society, stopped all teamsters from using horses to
haul people from Allegheny City to Pittsburg. Mr. Bell said the water reached the horses’ abdomens, causing the animals to
cramp and suffer greatly.

Residents of Allegheny City, now called the North Side, were angry that police had not notified them of the potential for such
serious flooding. Many of them fled their neighborhood by paddling along Lacock, West Robinson or Federal streets in boats
and skiffs. Others fled to Pittsburg by train. In just three hours, the Ft. Wayne rail depot sold 7,000 tickets.

109 years ago, flooding damaged the Turtle Creek Valley as well as Carnegie and Oakdale. On the previous night and the
morning of March 13, Deer Creek rose to a height of 16 feet, engulfing a railroad engine and seven railroad cars near
Harmarville. Three employees of the West Penn Railroad drowned in the Allegheny River and the flood washed away a railroad
bridge. Besides those those fatalities,at least 12 more people perished in the disaster. More than 300,000 employees who
worked in iron or steel plants were idled.

In its March 15 evening edition, the Pittsburg Press described the scene this way: “There is probably not a man, woman or
child in Pittsburg who did not feel the effect of the flood, directly or indirectly. While the water itself only damaged the lowlands,
it paralyzed the traffic of both the steam and electric railways; brought business to a standstill, closing mills, mines, factories
and busy marts of trade; crippled the lighting plants, plunging the city into Stygian darkness; interrupted telephone and
telegraph communication, and in countless other ways, stopped the wheels of progress.”
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FLOOD OF 1907
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
PHOTO BY R. W. JOHNSTON
FIFTH & LIBERTY AVENUES