79 years ago this week was The Flood of 1936.
A combination of a snowier than normal winter and two large rain storms was a recipe for disaster. The Merrimack rose 40 feet above flood level, causing severe flooding. The disaster was so terrible, “it prompted the first general flood-control act in U.S. history, made flood prevention a federal responsibility, and led to scores of projects over the next five decades.”
The NOAA estimates property damage in New England was at least $100 Million. “[In] the Piscataquag Village…especially Turner, Second, and Cleveland streets and nearby side streets, the rivers combined to cause 2,000 people to flee their homes and businesses, causing an estimated $1.8 million in damage.”
Some Manchester residents were forced to the roofs of their homes to await rescue. Some were even stranded overnight! Additionally, 200 animals from the Manchester Zoo perished in the flood. Two large tankers stationed at Grand Island slammed into the Granite Street Bridge, forcing the bridge to shut down. Surprisingly enough, the damage to the bridge was minimal.
A VERY special thank you to the Manchester Historic Association for allowing Intown Manchester to re-post these awesome images from their archive. Please be sure to visit their website at: www.manchesterhistoric.org!