Flood

1868 and took a toll of 38 lives in the vicinity of Ellicott City, ran highest at Sykesville, Ellicott City and other points between these places and the river’s mouth.

The water reached its crest and started to recede at 12:15 a.m. Tuesday. It dropped several feet before 1 a.m.

Railroad traffic, crippled Monday night in the flooded area is being slowly restored, Tuesday with some sections still without service.

Practically every State road out of Baltimore to the southwest, west and northwest, was blocked a few miles from the city wherever the roads crossed the Patapsco river over bridges.

Tracks of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad for 20 miles north of Woodstock have either been washed away or buried beneath tons of sand from the swollen river and adjoining hillsides.

Sykesville, Watersville, Woodbine, Gorsuch, Alberton, Marriotsville, Orange Grove, Ellicott City, Gray and Ilceester suffered the greatest damage to the storm.

Incidents Of The Flood

Among other things, the flood caused scores of homes to be abandoned by their occupants after they had carried furniture to the upper floors.

Rescue parties to fight through the darkness and rising waters to save families whose homes were marooned.

Isolation and failure of lighting and telephone service in Sykesville and many other towns.

Flooding of the electric power plant at Ilchester, the flour mills of the C. A. Gambrill Company and the Thistle Cotton Mills near Ellicott City.

Inundation of the canning factory of the B. F. Shriver Company at Sykesville and the sweeping away of Warfield’s lumber yard and thousands of feet of lumber at the same place.

Destruction of hundreds of barns and the death of much valuable live stock.

Sweeping away or flooding of large sections of track on the Hagerstown branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.

Plunged Into Darkness

In addition to the families that were forced to abandon their homes, others who sought refuge on upper floors had to be rescued by neighbors. Town after town was plunged into darkness and cut off from all communication with the outside world as bridges were carried away or inundated by the rapidly rising torrent.

Barns and live stock were swept away in the swiftly flowing current. Mills and power plants were flooded and their machinery wrecked. While sections of railroad tracks were torn up and whirled away. The United Railways bridge into Ellicott City was flooded and cars were unable to cross.

Electric Wires Torn Down

Following a cloudburst near Woodbine at 3 p.m. the Patapsco began to flood badly along both the North and South branches. A sawmill at Sykesville was washed away, electric light

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By 8:15 p.m. the water had begun backing up in Ellicott City, flooding Main street. Inch by inch it crept up toward the highest span of the new bridge on the Baltimore and Frederick Pike. Half an hour later all lights in the town went out when the waters inundated the gas and electric power plant under the falls at Ilchester which furnishes light and power for the adjacent territory.

Michael Ament, who works in the power house, stuck to his post until the water was almost up to his chin. He then was forced to flee precipitately.

Ilchester Mills Flooded

The C. A. Gambrill Mills at Ilchester were flooded as was the Thistle Cotton Mill, between Ilchester and Ellicott City. Here, as at the power plant, the engineers were forced to flee as the waters burst through, extinguishing the fire in the fireboxes, submerging the coal in the bunkers and rising until it covered the machinery on the floor above.

Storm Notes

Dr. and Mrs. J. F. Waesche and sons were returning from Baltimore by way of the Frederick Pike and were cut off by the washing of the culverts at Bob Day’s place, and were forced to leave their car at the home of Mrs. William Frazier, where Mrs. Waesche spent the night. Dr. Waesche and his sons walked into Sykesville.

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Mrs. J. N. Morris and DeVries Hering had each taken a carload of young people to Bay Shore for the day. On reaching Baltimore on their way home, they encountered a light rain, but thought nothing of it and came on out the Liberty Pike to North Branch, where they found the water so high it was impossible to get across. Turning their cars back toward Baltimore they attempted to take a road leading into Hollofield, which necessitated fording a stream. This was found to be impossible so they again turned and went toward Ellicott City. On reaching that point, the water was too high to continue, so they made the trip back to Baltimore in hopes they might get out the Reisterstown road to Westminster. They were successful in reaching Westminster  and managed the get as far as the Beasman place where they were again held up by the condition of Morgan Run. They were then forced to return to Westminster to spend the night.

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Mrs. Roby Hering suffered a great deal of damage. Over 200 chickens were drowned, besides the garden being completely ruined. The bridge at Hering’s Mill was washed away, and a portion of the mill dam.

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“We have the B. & O. where we want them,” said a trackman after the storm on Monday,” I will not help move a thing unless we get 50c an hour and an 8-hour day.” The one man strike did not affect the railroad very much and trains are now moving.

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Asa Hepner is lamenting the loss of some fine game chickens. He has one little “runty” gamester left.

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Barber Jones says, “The old hen stole her nest, and now the water has stole her brood of 11.”

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William M. Jones has Mrs. Elsie Coomes’ cord wood in his front yard.

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Charles Kohls’ bridge paid a visit to Barber Jones’ Shop. What for we do not know. Probably to get some mud scrapped off.

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Alma Forthman and Frank Flohr did valiant work in Postmaster Melvilles lawn, removing milk cans, posts and logs, while the water was several feet high.

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Small boys of Sykesville were swimming in the street in front of Phelps and Brown’s Store.

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The back water from the river and the small branch through his garden, ruined everything, Mr. Wm. Griffe, the rural carrier, had planted.

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Several carloads of telephone poles at Gaither, passed Sykesville during the high water, enroute to Baltimore.

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Mr. R. W. Carter, had quite a loss the water washed away a lot of good lumber he had sawed ready to be shipped.

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The Sykesville Motor & Supply Co. have been busy digging out tires, tubes, tools, etc., from their cellar since the waters have receded.

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The intersection of Springfield Avenue and the road leading the Springfield Church looked like a rock quarry on Tuesday morning. No one seems to know where so many rocks came from.

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