Monday, September 16, 2013

Mill Creek Flood Roared Thru Erie in 1915

The unthinkable happened on August 3, 1915, when a wall of water raced through Erie, picking up houses, animals, people and everything else in its path, unleashing its reign of terror. The torrential rain fell and quickly saturated the ground. Creeks that flowed wistfully through town rose higher and higher. Debris created a dam near 26th and State. When the pressure became too great, the water let loose.

The banks of the Mill Creek were washed out and bridges crossing from east to west collapsed. The scene in the post card shown above was photographed near German Street between East 6th and East 7th. Some wooden houses were smashed to smithereens. Some houses were picked up off of their foundations by the rushing water and deposited several yards from their original location.

The Mill Creek Flood is nearly forgotten, save for a few postcards in antique shops and online auctions. The creek was enclosed in a twenty-two foot wide concrete tube. which was completed in around 1923 for $1.9 million. Local entrepreneur Jacob Roth (of Roth Cadillac) built two of its five sections. A portion of the Mill Creek Tube runs under Jerry Uht field and across Holland Street. 

C-SPAN is working with the Erie County Historical Society to gather information about the history of Erie. Can't wait to see the segment!

Enjoy more historic facts and photos of Erie, Pennsylvania at: Old Time Erie

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