The winter of 1936 dropped more than 63 inches of snow on Pittsburgh. Ice jams formed on the upper Allegheny and Monongahela rivers.
On March 16, high temperatures melted the snow and ice. Over the next two days, the melting and heavy rain combined to cause the worst flood in Pittsburgh’s history. The March 18th headline of the Post-Gazette read: “River at 34 feet, still rises. Downtown area under water.”
On March 19, the Post-Gazette’s front page read: “Rivers drop: Crest 46 feet; thousands awaiting relief.” The lead story reported: “Big aid fund voted; troops guard city; eight known dead. Power fails, large area is in darkness, trolleys stop; food and water scarcity add to peril in wake of flood.”
The flood became known as “The Great St. Patrick’s Day Flood.”
We found this image in an oversized folder. Only the date and a five-word description were written on the back of this photograph: “Ice Jams; Point Bridge; Monongahela.”
(Pittsburgh Press photo)