Ethel Bussy remembers the Flood of ’50

Sollie Darling was unhurt after upending his car when the Emory Broook tore through Route 28 (Main Street) Fleischmanns. Photo courtesy Georgie Fairlie

Sollie Darling was unhurt after upending his car when the Emory Broook tore through Route 28 (Main Street) Fleischmanns. Photo courtesy Georgie Fairlie

Floods have always been a part of the history of Margaretville.

A devastating flash flood, called “the rain makers flood,” supposedly caused by chemical seeding of the clouds over this area to make rain after an extended period of dry weather, was one of the worst in the history of this area. It occurred on November 21, 1950. There was great damage not only in Margaretville but in Arkville, (Fleischmanns) and throughout this section. The damage done to roads alone were estimated by Middletown officials to run over $1,000,000. The loss to our village was fixed at $500,000. In some places on Main Street there was as much as six feet of water. People were rescued from their homes by boats.

The newly built Delaware Valley Oil Co. and service station of “Denny’s” on Bridge Street, owned by Leyden Smith, was badly damaged, the extent estimated to be $34,000.

An area field director for the American Red Cross was sent to this village to help plan the rehabilitation of families who lost possessions in the flood. The Methodist Church remained opened all night to feed volunteers and house approximately thirty people who were forced to flee their homes.

From History and Stories of Margaretville and Surrounding Area, by Ethel Bussy, 1960

Leyden Smith's gas station, Bridge Street, nearly ruined in 1950, was destroyed in the 1996 flood. Photo by Bob Wyer, courtesy DCHA

Leyden Smith's gas station, Bridge Street, nearly ruined in 1950, was destroyed in the 1996 flood. Photo by Bob Wyer, courtesy DCHA

 

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