Robert Kwolek took a drive on the wild side on Thursday, Aug. 11, 1966. And the wet side.
Kwolek was on Broadway, making a turn onto the Crane Street hill, when an intense rain storm hit the city. A river of water rushed down the Crane pavement and washed out a section of Broadway recently torn up as part of a construction project. Kwolek, who lived at 1038 Second Ave., saw his car become trapped in the now-ruined road.
People had been expecting wet weather for days, suffering through a mid-summer heat wave. When heavy rain began falling at 8 p.m., people welcomed relief from 90 degree-temperatures of the day. But impatient shoppers stranded in stores became human sponges as they dashed for their cars. Unlucky motorists caught under the Weaver street underpass saw a swimming pool worth of precipitation swallow their cars.
Short circuits knocked out traffic lights in downtown Schenectady. Drain sewers along Albany Street and Summit Avenue filled with water so quickly during the hour-long soak that pressure popped several manhole covers.
Everything was dry by Friday. And a little cooler.