The Great Storm--Additional Particulars
Saturday's Heavy Rain
Damages to Factories, Dwellings, Sewers, Inlets, &c.
One Life Lost
Destruction of Railroad Trains.

Excerpts from this article relating to Frankford Creek Watershed
SOURCE: Public Ledger, Monday, September 25, 1882

The heavy rainstorm which set in on Wednesday night, and which continued throughout Friday and Saturday, reached its end on Saturday night about 3 o'clock, after having accomplished an amount of damage which will not be known for some time....

Frankford and Vicinity

Besides flooding the country between Frankford and Holmesburg, the torrents of rain that fell on Saturday had the effect of causing Frankford Creek to overflow its banks, and sweep along in its path logs, lumber, chicken coops, pig styes [sic], boats, wooden shanties, dye tubs and branches of trees. These piling up against the wooden bridges at the street crossings, for a time endangered their

The History of Philadelphia's Watersheds and Sewers

Compiled by Adam Levine
Historical Consultant
Philadelphia Water Department

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Frankford Creek
Flood History

safety and caused more or less damage to the structures. The southern half of the bridge over the creek at Orthodox Street was undermined, and fell partially into the water, while the same was the case with that at Oxford Street. The basements of Greenwood & Bault's [?] dye works and Garsed's mills were submerged, the water rising to about three feet above the pavement.

The bridge at Church Street sustained some damage, but not so much as the others mentioned. At this point the creek overflowed its banks for a hundred feet on each side, rising to a height of six feet, and flooding the first story of Smith & Co.'s Berkshire Mills. The firms drew their fires and removed nearly all of their stock from the room and expected to be ready to start their looms to-morrow. Apart from the mud and the cost of removing it, their loss will not amount to over $1000[?].

Joseph Colbert's store-houses on Worth Street, between Oxford and Orthodox and backing on the creek, was flooded, the damage to finished goods here being estimated at [$??,000]. The lower floor of the Colbert mills, further from the creek, was partially submerged. The water at one end of this building rising to a height of six feet, but most of the goods here were removed before the water entered.

J.E. Burns' spice mills, alongside the bridge on Tacony Street, suffered to the extent of $10,000 by the stock in the basement being flooded from floor to ceiling. The engine was submerged, fires put out, weigh scales and part of [stable?] carried away, and 150 feet of masonry, walling in his place from the creek, undermined and thrown down. Part of the foundation of the bridge was washed away, and also part of the street leading to it.

The bridge at Nicetown Lane was not damaged, although water spread 100 feet on each side of the banks and rose to a height of [16?] inches on the first floor of the frame house at one side, and carrying away a portion of the porch. The families saved their furniture from damage by carrying it up stairs, but they lost considerably in live stock.

At Green and [Linehan's?] foundry, at the foot of Mill Street, the water overflowed into the yard, but the prompt action of the workmen in removing patterns, flasks, &c., prevented more than [$300?] worth of damage being done.

On Frankford Road, below Tacony Street, the water overflowed the bank on the east side of the creek to a height of 2 1/2 feet, compelling the tenants of the cottages there to move upstairs. A miniature lake, about 200 feet long, was formed at this point, through which horse cars were driven, with the passengers standing upon the seats, until travel had to be stopped.

About sixty feet of a stone wall, seven feet high, enclosing a portion of Rowland's coal yard, on Frankford Road, below Mill Street, was washed away, and also about 100 feet of the wall on one side of the six-arched bridge on Frankford Road. A hole about 20 feet in circumference and depth was made in the street at this point....


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April 30, 2005