Capital Region Scrapbook: March made watery entrance, flooded much of region in 1956

A heavy rainstorm in March of 1956 caused flooding and a host of problems around the region.

People can expect heavy snow in early March, as winter traditionally begins its last lap.

That didn’t happen in 1956: The month that usually begins as a lamb or a lion came in like a mackerel. Water was deep in many parts of the Capital Region.

About 1.30 inches of rain fell on Wednesday, March 7. Lightning was also part of the weird skies, and four area homes were hit.

Flash floods poured over highways. Electrical malfunctions turned off the juice in East Greenbush. Cellars flooded all over Scotia, and police had to turn off oil burners in several homes. In Rotterdam, too much water in a pond near the Town Tavern in Rotterdam meant overflow and a nearly covered Altamont Avenue.

It seemed everyone had woes. Schools in South Colonie had to close because of flooded streets. A Colonie lumber yard was reported under 12 feet of water with damage estimated at $10,000. The Schoharie Creek rose, but did not flood. The Mohawk River also behaved.

“In the city, the heavy rainstorm inundated streets at the Edison Avenue, Weaver Street and North Jay Street underpasses,” the Schenectady Gazette reported. “Coniston Road was hidden under two to three feet of water while widespread flooding was reported on Woodlawn and McDonald avenues from Kings Road to Clayton Road.”

Crews cleared drains and used pumps to restore hydrological balance to lawn and pavement. In a day or two, water was out of the news and fish were no longer a factor as March rolled toward spring.

Categories: Life and Arts

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