Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Vermilion River Floods – Jan. 23, 1959

Many of us remember the terrible flooding that occurred in the Vermilion area during the notorious storm on July 4, 1969.

But did you know the Vermilion River flooded sixty years ago in January 1959 with similar disastrous results?

Here’s the front page of the Lorain Journal with the story from January 23, 1959.

As it notes, “The overflowing waters of the Vermilion River were subsiding today in the wake of a nightmarish flood which caused estimated damage of more than $1 million to property in the Vermilion area alone.

“An estimated 200 persons were evacuated or forced to leave homes and house trailers along both sides of the river south of Rt. 6 and 2.

“The main highway leading to Vermilion at that point was covered with as much as three feet of water from noon yesterday.

“Several long-time Vermilion residents said they could not recall another flood which caused so much property damage in the Vermilion area.

“At least 10 pleasure boats were torn from moorings at Cooper’s Boat Basin by the fast-moving river water which swept the boats north toward Lake Erie.”

Here are the continuations of the front page articles.

And here’s a full page of Journal photos by Don Shook, Bill Conley and Ed Nemecek of the disaster.

It would be interesting hearing from Vermilion area residents who lived through both disasters as to which (1959 or 1969) was worse.
But this photo of Routes 6 & 2 from the montage (in which you can see a Romp’s sign at left and the bridge off in the distance) really gives me the creeps.


Anonymous said...

Dan, I have spent the last few days googling every story on the newspaper page.. There is a very moving youtube post about the lost miners.. also kinda creepy how, 60 years later, [ plus a day ] Vermilion had another good sized flood.. Bill N

Dan Brady said...

Hi Bill,
Yes it was an eerie and unpleasant coincidence about the flooding in Vermilion and elsewhere this week. And thanks for the heads-up about the YouTube documentaries and film on the Knox Mine Disaster.

Col. Matt Nahorn said...

Another great post, Dan. By any chance did you also capture page 8 of the Journal from that edition? A couple of the articles are continued on page 8, and it would be great to finish reading those. Thanks!

Dan Brady said...

I'll grab page 8 next time I'm at the library and post it here as soon as I can.