Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Watery Wednesday - Scenes From Harpers Ferry V

A different kind of "watery" shot for today. I thought this measurement of the flood levels gives a great perspective of how high the water was!

Memorable Floods at Harpers Ferry

Here at Harpers Ferry, where the waters of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers converge, floods have inundated the Lower Town since the first white settlers arrived here more than two centuries ago. The town's more memorable floods are listed below.
1748. According to local legend, floodwaters drove Robert Harper from the log cabin he had acquired from Peter Stephens.
1753. "The Pumpkin Flood," so named for the great numbers of pumpkins washed down from the gardens of nearby Indian villages.
1852. The greatest flood since the first settlers arrived at Harpers Ferry. Waterpower dams on the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers suffered considerable damage.
1870. (September 30-October 1). The Shenandoah River rose so rapidly that residents were trapped on Virginius Island. Floodwaters swept away much of the island's homes and industry and claimed 42 lives at Harpers Ferry.
1877. (November 25). High water caused considerable damage to the C&O Canal and closed the old Shenandoah Canal for good. The flood crest was 29.2 feet.
1889. (June 1). The rivers rose to a record height – 34.8 feet – destroying the Shenandoah wagon bridge and forcing the Child & McCreight flour mill on Virginius Island to close for good.
1896. (October 1). One of the worst floods in the town's history. The rivers crested at 33.0 feet.
1924. (May 3). Floodwaters swept away three spans from the Bollman highway bridge across the Potomac River and permanently closed the C&O Canal. The rivers rose to 27.6 feet.
1936. (March 18-19). 36½ feet – the all-time record crest at Harpers Ferry. The Bollman highway bridge and Shenandoah bridge were swept away for good, while many businesses in the Lower Town were left in ruins.
1942. (October 16). All-time record crest for the Shenandoah Valley. Floodwaters reached 33.8 feet in Lower Town Harpers Ferry.
1972. (June 23). Floodwater from Hurricane Agnes swelled to 29.7 feet here but caused relatively little damage.
1985. (November 5-6). The Potomac and Shenandoah rivers crested at 29.8 feet in Lower Town Harpers Ferry, leaving behind several inches of mud.
1996. January 20-21: Rain and snowmelt from the record Blizzard of January 1996 – which dumped more than two feet of snow in the valleys of the Potomac and Shenandoah – caused the rivers to rise to 29.4 feet in Lower Town Harpers Ferry. September 8: Devastating rains from the remnants of Hurricane Fran fell across the Shenandoah and Potomac river basins. The rivers rose to 29.8 feet, marking the first time in the town's history that two floods in excess of 29 feet have occurred in a single year.

(from the National Parks Service website)

Linking to Watery Wednesday


  1. wow! That's putting things into perspective.

  2. It's hard to imagine so much water!

  3. fire and floods and wind. amazingly destructive powers.

  4. Truly amazing that the city survived!

  5. Floods are so scary. The 1985 one really did damage to this area. Fortunately our creek did not get up to the house. Those are the loudest waters ever. I never knew Harpers Ferry had endured so many of them. I am WAY being in my commenting. Do not have enough hours in the day. genie

  6. It's amazing that the town is still there after all these floods. The picture of your family in front of the flood gauge is neat.

  7. Hello there
    Flood markers area real eye opener for those who don't live in flood prone places
    Floods are in the news here at the moment (Queensland and New South Wales) They had massive ones there this time last year and it could be repeated in some areas - fingers crossed it doesn't

    Visiting from Watery Wednesday

  8. Thanks for posting and the history lesson ... You dont only show great photos but you have a lot of background as well... outstanding =) I love that you have a lot of followings how did you get some many people to notice your blog? I wish I had more then a few people comment on my blog daily, you get on average seven if not more a day... Would you mind telling me how I can attack more people to my blog =)

  9. Good grief! That's amazing. Your photo really drives the point home.


Hi! I'm so happy you've stopped by and always enjoy your comments :)