1936 floods

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Tue May 26 22:15:00 EDT 2009

The flood of March 1936 was indeed caused by a severe winter followed by
unusual warm temperatures and heavy rain in March. Ice floes as much as a
foot thick and the high water caused severe damage along the Potomac. Water
was 42 feet above normal at Shepherdstown, where the highway bridge was
destroyed. B&O was badly damaged, but their Harpers Ferry bridges
survived. N&W was on high ground north of Front Royal, but it looks like it
suffered where the tracks ran close to the Shenandoah south of there. Until
a temporary ferry was placed in operation at Shepherdstown, N&W was the only
way other than boat to cross there. The nearest highway bridge to survive
was upstream at Williamsport, MD. That stretched the 4 mile trip to
Sharpsburg, MD to 36 miles.

--Rick Morrison

----- Original Message -----
From: "NW Mailing List" <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>
To: "N&W Historical Society" <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>
Sent: Friday, May 22, 2009 2:20 PM
Subject: 1936 floods


> May 22, 2009


> Good afternoon, all:


> Three Railway Express Agency delayed service and embargo notices appear at

> http://www.railwaymailservicelibrary.org/ebay/flood'36.pdf It appears

> that the flood damage was extensive over a very large geographic area

> during mid-March 1936. This is too early for hurricane season. It is

> also too late for a fast thaw of accumulated snow. Does anyone have

> information why the N&W Shenandoah Division as far north as White Post was

> affected?


> Thank you,


> Frank

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