Monday, March 24, 2014

1934 March Snowstorm and a Maltese Cat.


Lewes, Delaware, March 2, 1934 Delaware Coast News
A topsy-turvy nor'easter coastal storm made a turn for the worst and the sea flooded the street of Lewes and dumped a heavy snow covering the coastal region. It's the same old story, a high pressure system with sub-freezing temperature collided with a low pressure, moisture laden system.
Delaware Bay was mostly frozen from the long winter cold spell and this storm cut communications between shore and the lighthouses leaving the keepers marooned. Supply boats were not able to make their daily trips because of heavy ice packets. Necessities ran short.
The tanker “J. C. Donnell” went aground on Brown Shoal, had a engine room fire which seriously injured a crew member, who was put on board a tug and headed toward Lewes and the Beebe Hospital. Close to Lewes, ice prevented it from landing at pier and the injured crewman was transferred to a small boat which was slid across the ice then pulled to shore, and the man was taken to the hospital and treated.
Then more problems. Temperatures began to rise, rain began to fall, ice and snow melted, and the beach community of Kimmytown was flooded with almost three foot deep waters, hindering the efforts of local residents trying to aid the stranded crew members out in the Breakwater.
On the southern edge of town, near the railroad station, the W. J. Warren Canning Company lost 2300 bushels of pea seed to be planted for precessing in May and June. All over the area cars that tried to drive through the flooded streets were stuck from the water flooding out their engines. The canal reached almost it overflow stage and Lewes Pilots were landed up the bay for the week.
The Delaware Coast News reported a happy story of the flood. “A small Maltese cat, marooned atop a wood fence post in a vast expanse of water” was saved by a fireman within several hours.

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