1947 - ONTARIO FLOODS CLAIM SIX LIVES Chatham Is Under Water
Peak Anxiously Awaited as Thames River Carries Boiling Waters to Lake St. Clair--River 19 2-3 Feet Above Normal and Millions of Dollars in Devastation Results.
(By George Ronald, Canadian Press Staff Writer)
CHATHAM, April 8--(C.P.)--The rampaging Thames river, running its flood-swollen course into Lake St. Clair, rose today to 19 2-3 feet above its normal level in this western Ontario city of 17,000 and threatened to spill still further over its low banks. The flood waters have claimed six lives over Ontario in the past few days.
Fed by rain and melting snow from rich farmlands of Ontario's western peninsula, the river maintained a steady one-inch-an-hour climb and at 12:30 p.m. was eight inches below the peak of 20 feet, four inches it reached in 1937 in the most disastrous flood in the city's history. City Manager T. M. Kingston predicted it would surpass the 1927 level by mid-afternoon...
WORK ALL NIGHT
In Chatham many persons worked all night taking precautions against property damage. In downtown stores staffs moved stocks to upper floors, and where was only one floor raised stocks two or three feet above street floor level. Basements of stores on King Street, the city's main thoroughfare, had as much as three feet of water late last night.
Eight dwellings were evacuated last night on the south side of Dover Street, the second street north of the river in the downtown section.
About midnight the water lapped over the top of a sign on the edge of Collins Memorial Park. The sign says; "Bathing Prohibited."
Chatham was expecting the worst at a time when the flood menace has eased everywhere else in western and southern Ontario. The same river, the Thames, has borne its flood crest through London, 70 miles upriver, in the early hours Sunday with a few inches to spare on the breakwaters.
The Sydenham river running north of here, after flooding the streets of Dresden, was subsiding. Thamesville, immediately up-river, was cut off by highway as the crest paused there a few hours before reaching Chatham...
The Lethbridge Herald
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
April 8, 1947
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