Portsmouth 1937 flood

Portsmouth 1937 flood

1937 flood 7th & Findley streets

Looking down Chillicothe street

The new post office on the right and note the United Brethren church on the left now gone and is part of the Kroger parking lot.

1937 flood at N& W station

Portsmouth 2 policemen in boat search for refuges

Chillicothe Street looking south

N & W at Portsmouth overpass 1937 flood

1937 Flood Portsmouth people Scurrying to the hilltop

1937 flood Staker drugs

Looking west on Third Street from Chillicothe Street

1937 flood Portsmouth aerial view

1937 flood 2nd street looking west

1937 flood Stockham Ice Co.

1937 Flood Portsmouth usual placid Ohio River

WPA workers and CCC enrolles helped hurry along the cleanup of flood area streets after the flood left. Location Gallia and Offner.

The receding flood waters left debris piled up as though a hurricane had stuck

Washington Hotel

1937 Flood Portsmouth Pressure Water cleaner

Flood waters carried the Proctorville sign more than 50 miles downstream and left it at door step of Isaac Moore, 407 Broadway street.

Food at the Coliseum at the state fairgrounds in Columbus being ready for shipment to Portsmouth

1937 Flood Front Mill Street sector

1937 Flood Portsmouth Hayport road

 a typical couple getting food and shelter at Hilltop school

1937 Flood Portsmouth Kinney's Lane springs

1937 Flood Portsmouth marooned on second floor

Tom Manning, NBC radio announcer, broadcasting from a row boat at Seventh and Chillicothe streets.

1937 Flood Portsmouth Chillicothe Street

1937 Flood Portsmouth debris from Times basement

1937 Flood U S Grant School

Flood waters spoiled U. S. Grant school gym, scene of Portsmouth High school basketball games

A thick carpet of mud left in the Bigelow M. E. Church

1937 Flood Portsmouth Chillicothe Street

1937 Flood Portsmouth  North End

      The Ohio river began a rise in middle January with a large volume of rainfall in the West Virginia and Pennsylvania hills. By January 19 the river rose to  55 feet with a crest of near 60 feet forecast for Jan. 21.
      Early on Jan 21, with heavy rain throughout the entire Ohio valley and its tributaries Portsmouth knew a flood was inevitable.  By 5 a.m. Jan. 22 the water began entering the city, backing up through the sewers whose valves had been opened to permit recession of the water after the flood and lapping over the floodwall.
      A total of 13 inches fell during 21 days in January four times the normal amount. On Jan. 27 a crest of 74.23 inches was reached.
      Damages totaling more than $16,000,000 was wrought to the flood in greater Portsmouth.  The loss to private homes, garages and contents was estimated  at $3,943,000.  Damage to municipal and school buildings in Portsmouth and New Boston was estimated at $316,200.  Loss to merchandise, equipment and buildings of Portsmouth and New Boston utilities, manufactures and merchants was placed at $7,202,000.  Churches were damaged to the extent of a $100,000.  
      One person was drowned. Eight thousand people were rescued by boat. At one point there was 34,248 refugees from the flood.

Many of the pictures are from the February 28, 1937 souvenir section of the Portsmouth Times loaned to me by George Barlow (owner of Family Woodworks LLC, Piketon, OH). 

1937 Portsmouth, Ohio Flood

1937 flood City manager Frank Sheehan & Deputy of WPA

1937 flood Faulters drug store Portsmouth

1937 Flooded Oil Tanks

1937 Flood Portion of Scioto river levee

Harold Saylor (left) and Dr. H. E. Feyler broadcasting over Saylor's home radio

L to R: Harold Saylor and Bill Gammon moving the police radio station WPGI from the basement of city hall to a higher story.

L to R: Joe Graham, Paul Holton, and Orville Fields with police radio station WPGI

Paul Wagner & Mrs. Marie Vandergrift looking out the window at WPAY

WPAY signed on in 1935.

Mrs. Marie Vandergrift at WPAY window

Portsmouth WPA worker lifts boy out window

1937 Flood at the N & W depot

Sandbags along the floodwall in Portsmouth, Ohio during the 1937 flood

Gallia Street 1937 flood

 2nd street looking east 1937 flood

 old Second Street Bridge to West Portsmouth

 1937 view from river building on left Hotel Portsmouth

January 24th. 1937

Freda Craig Shaw collection


looking North up Chillicothe street from Grant Bridge

North end Market street 1937 flood

Portsmouth 1937 men lay out sand bags to dry

 east side of Market street 1937 flood

1937 flood street scene

Please email additions or corrections to hladvertising@hotmail.com. Or mail to Waverly City Guide, 455 Hay Hollow Road, Chillicothe, Ohio 45601

Looking East on Gallia Street

Gallia St. 1937 Flood

Freda Craig Shaw collection

 N&W overpass 1937 flood

1937 WPA workers placing sandbags

The women of Portsmouth, Ohio rallying to feed the workers during the 1937 flood.

Portsmouth 1937 flood loading sandbags

Some of the advertisers found in the souvenir addition are as follows: Sears, 3rd & Chillicothe Streets; Kobackers's;Security Central National Bank; J. C. Penny Co.; Montgomery Ward; Atlas Fashion; The Portsmouth Banking Co. 6th & Chillicothe streets.; The Cussings & Fearn Co. 831 Gallia Street; Kay Jewelry Co. 817 Gallia Street; Stewart's corner of Vinton & Young Streets; Sheets Furniture, 526-28 Stewart Street; Scioto Motors 1510-18 Gallia Street; Bake Shop, 6th & Chillicothe; The Ohio Power Co where you could get Electric Ranges and Water heaters with a low down payment of $1.98 for the range and $1.22 for the heater plus tax; The Southern Ohio Maytag Co., 934 Gallia; Portsmouth Gas Co. 8th and Chillicothe streets; Bragdon's, Portsmouth Thrift Center; Sutter's 1023-25 Gallia Street; Lewis Furniture Co.; Chabot's Super Service 9th & Offnere Sts. & at Damarin Hill Station; Glockner Chevrolet Co. 2nd & Chillicothe Streets; Compton Engraving & Printing; Drs. Bennett & Babcock; Household Finance Corp 211 Masonic Temple; The Midland Grocery Co.; Collins, 322 Chillicothe St; L. C. Davis Showroom where they has the Nash LaFayette '400', Ambassador Six & Ambassador Eight on display 1618-1622 Gallia; Kroger stores; Wolff 320 Chillicothe street; Summers & Son 906 Gallia Street; Ideal Milk Co. Walker's Family Shoe Store 420 Chillicothe Street; Stewart's Drugs 904 Gallia Street & 4th & Chillicothe Streets; People's store 308 Chillicothe Street; Artwil Dress Shop 418 Chillicothe Street; Universal Auto Co. see them for the new Ford V-8 1112-30 Gallia Street; Knose Chevrolet Sales, 5607 Gallia; J. F. Carr, Cash For Old God, 813 Gallia; J.D. Williams Retail Dept. Williams Mfg. C. Bldg. Gallia at Campbell; Schaffer, 216 Market Street. Gallenstein Auto Sales 1014 Gallia St. at John; Hopkins Bros. 212 Washington St., Zuhars Oldsmobile Co., Gallia at Lincoln; and Keystone Press Co. 840-42 Forth St.