Sunday, May 14, 2006
The Williamsburg Flood disaster revisited
This weekend I learned that on May 16 1874 at approximately 8 am a reservoir that was held back by a very poorly constructed dam flooded over. The collapsing dam resulted in a catastrophe that swept away many homes and killed many people in Williamsburg/Haydenville Massachussetts.
The Meekins library did a splendid job in planning events that commerated this historical disaster. The highligt of the day was a hike through the woods to the site and great talk by our guide that gave us some interesting background about this horrible event.
The above photo clearly shows the destructive power of water as it collapsed & pushed away the dam wall, cascading water and debris down the Valley. In its wake it left nothing but drowning & destruction. At its peak we were told the wall of water was 40 feet high traveling at a speed of 15 miles per hour. With no cellphones to warn of its coming people and homes were literally swept away.
Great thanks to the Meekins Library for planning and putting on this Community event. The weather cooperated by contributing cold rain and drizzle reminding us of how unforgiving nature can be.