It started with some rain –
I was working second shift –
in Olean N.Y.
Around 9:00 P.M. –
I looked out back at the river –
IT WAS TIME TO LEAVE AND GO HOME – TO ELDRED PA.
I left and drove through Portville N.Y.
– still raining –
and I came to the bridge that turned right –
And would take me to the border and Pa.
They had just set up the barriers –
I would be the last car through.
I had to go across the “FLATS” and it already had started to flood.
Here we are in the hills or mountains of the Allegany River
which flows North into New York State –
before it turns South back into Pa.
Eventually ending up in Pittsburg Pa.
I pushed water with my bumper –
almost up to the headlight –
But after one hour to make a thirty minute trip –
I was home.
This would be the last time I would get out for almost two weeks.
We would be completely surrounded by water !
In this picture –
I had moved from a apartment over top of the Western Auto
Six months before the flood from Hurricane Agnes
which dropped 12 . 5 inches of rain
The water would continue to rise another three to four feet in this picture.
I never went back to work for over two weeks –
The town was devastated –
one point five million dollars in destruction.
With a population of 800 to 1000 –
The water destroyed almost every business and home in the Boro.
We were lucky – we had moved to North Mani Street – high above the water.
We were constantly moving people and furniture only to see the water rise
and cover everything we had moved up.
A helicopter made trips into the ball field before it
( the ball park ) also vanished under water
Soon the Elementary school where we had set up a sort of place to meet –
was under water.
Through all of this –
main street turned into a water way for boats –
As did the side streets
Supplies were getting thin –
trying the back roads through the hills –
was almost impossible as almost every community from miles around
was in water or surrounded.
But there is a good ending to all of this –
ELDRED survived and came back –
rebuilt -and a few years later –
The Army Corps of Engineers built a dike system –
And even though there were dikes before –
this was much improved –
And as far as I know –
has not flooded since!
The Sun came out and at the end of the Rain bow –
She still stands there today –
The little community –
Where everyone knows your name –
Continues on as it has since the 1800’s!
I hope this brings back memories for those that lived it.
Hurricane Agnes in June 1972
wrought much destruction in our area-
This is but one point of view.
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