|Fifty years ago in March, a historical flood struck Calhoun with a record crest of the Little Kanawha River at 43.90 feet.|
- This account transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm of the Calhoun Chronicle.
- Photos courtesy of David Lee Hickman (Grantsville) and Irene
Siers (Cabot Station).
3/9/1967 - Monday night will long be remembered by many residents
Grantsville as a time of great upheaval. It was a time of
moving, much of it done during a heavy downpour of rain.
The Little Kanawha invaded most of the low-lying parts of the town,
some places flooded for the first time, and many families suddenly
in the middle of the night.
An almost steady downpour of rain had started Saturday and
until early Tuesday morning where melting snow had already left a
well soaked ground. Most of the old time river-watchers were
though that the river rose much more rapidly than usual and that these
flood waters were just about as large as those of the previous record
of 1918 and 1937.
Comparison to a fine point with previous big floods was impossible
of changes made in the roads and in the levels of the streets.
were used up and down Mill street as in 1939 and some of the same
Members of the Grantsville fire department, the Army Reserve unit,
many other volunteers labored throughout the night to move people and
possessions out of the way of rising water, and the moving continued
about noon Tuesday. The flood crest came finally about five
Tuesday afternoon when water had finally covered Mill Street, River
all of North Grantsville, all of the bottom of the South Side, and all
low lying land in the area. Many families were out of their
far too many to be listed.
State Route 5 was covered at both ends of the town. At the
side it was covered just east of the Grantsville bridge, while at the
end o town Rt. 5 was blocked just below the intersection of River
Rt. 16 remained pen although it was one way traffic at the south end
the bridge traffic circle. Both side roads, one leading to
and the other going down North Side were completely covered.
spectators came on Rt. 16 to view the high water.
Court Street area where Calhoun Banks drive-in now stands
Mill Street in area where Calhoun public library now stands
Florence Street area, frequently flooded section near Mill St.
Much of the loss must be bourn by homeowners of the Grantsville
Some decided to start early in the evening with their moving, and this
proved wisest. Those who waited, or merely raised furniture to a
higher level still lost heavily as the water became deeper and
Some persons thought that the flood would not reach them because it
not done so in previous raises and in some cases they lost just about
Several of the business places of Grantsville were flooded,
those at the lower end of Court Street, along Mill Street and River
Among those with water in the main floor were Grantsville Garage,
News, S and S Car Wash and Speedy Wash, and Consolidated Supply had
to their lower floor and smaller buildings. Several families
refuge in the Speedy Wash but they had to move on because of the
The store of Mrs. Mary Barr Wallace, near the high school, had
near to the ceiling, and water was several feet deep in the W.B.
store building. Murray Chevrolet had a flooded shop, and several
older used cars on their lot were left standing in rather deep
The Consolidated Gas Supply (Hope) office was flooded, along with
There was approximately three feet of water in the main floor at
Fabricators plant above the town. Employees there stored
movable on the second floor, and all available empty trailers were
with finished products and moved to the highway.
Ross Perry, plant manager, said that while much was moved, it was
to get everything, and that employees had stayed all through the night
trying to save as much as possible before finally leaving in the early
morning via their own manufactured products of inflated rubber
For those who could snatch a few moments of rest before daylight there
were plenty of another product, inflated rubber mattresses.
While most persons had ample time to get out on their own power,
late stayers were rounded up in boats or in the large Army vehicles
to the local Military Police platoon. Many persons worked
Monday night and on into the day Tuesday without stopping for sleep,
everyone as best they could. Much furniture was moved, stored in
various buildings, the two hotels were full and residents opened their
homes to the homeless. The Riverside Motel, below town was
by 10 p.m. Monday night. Some of the stores were closed all day
because of the extraordinary amount of moving done all through the
On down river many homes along Rt. 5 were flooded, and the swinging
bridge just above Cabot Station was washed away by the swift
A small garage on the rear of the Albert Stump property was washed
river until it hit the Buck Westfall home with a loud crash.
Hope Compressor Station at Cabot Station
Cabot Station Homes
Rt. 5 Blocked by Floodwaters
Cabot Station School
Multi-stall Garage at Cabot Station
Belongings Moved to Higher Ground
Upriver along Rt. 5 toward Glenville was also flooded, and the town
of Glenville suffered severe damage in the business section where
was reported several feet deep.
Schools of the county were in session only one hour on Monday
when the rapid rise of the river called for quick curtailment of
The school bus garage on the South Side was soon flooded and by the
the crest had been reached those busses which had been parked in front
of the high school were axle deep in water.
Damages are hard to estimate until clean-up and repairs are
Purchases of brooms, mops and cleaning supplies were started Tuesday
what can be called a major disaster to many residents of Grantsville.
HISTORICAL FLOODS RECORDED AT GRANTSVILLE:
(1) 43.90 ft on 03/07/1967
(2) 43.10 ft on 04/17/1939
(3) 42.87 ft on 11/05/1985
(4) 40.34 ft on 03/02/1997
(5) 39.50 ft on 12/15/1949
(5) 39.50 ft on 12/15/1948
(7) 39.47 ft on 02/02/1951
(8) 39.42 ft on 11/20/2003
(9) 38.76 ft on 01/26/1978
(10) 38.73 ft on 02/19/2000