Monday, June 22, 2009

Bovina Weather History during the Great War

This weekend's almost non-stop rain once again made me think of weather in Bovina's history. During World War I, Bovina had at least two significant weather events.

In late October, the November 2, 1917 issue of the Delaware Express, reported "Pink Street Stream on Rampage - Drives out the Robsons." The article went on to report that "In and about Bovina Center the flood was the worst in forty years...and the Pink Street steam and Coulter Brook did considerable damage, especially the former.

"Harry Robson, who lives in W.A. Hoy's tenant house near the bridge by the Strangeway store, noticed about 4 A.M. that the water was lapping up to the windows of his abode and alarmed his neighbors who rang the firebell and came to the rescue with a milk wagon. The family thus made their exit by the way of the back door, but the water did not invade their home as was feared, and the furniture was not damaged.

"The foot bridge at the Strangeway store was washed away; Tracy Sherman's wood pile was moved out into the state road. Gideon Miller's blacksmith was flooded, many cellars were full of water, roads were badly washed and fences all along the Pink Street stream were destroyed..."

The following summer, Bovina had a record hail storm. The Delaware Express reported in its July 26 issue that on "Friday evening, July 19, at the end of a perfect day of haymaking Bovina, but especially Bovina Center, suffered one of the most furious hailstorms that she has ever had."

The Express went on to report that "Mountain clouds, as black as coal, drove haymakers scurrying into their barns. These clouds had a special grudge at the folks in the Center and poured upon them a most punishing fusilade of hailstones as big as hickory nuts. The ground was covered white with hail several inches deep, making the earth look covered with snow. Some piles of hail that had run off the roofs of the houses were eighteen inches deep. The hail was gathered up by the shovelfulls by the villgers and used for ice cream. The Red Cross members gathered large quantities and made ice cream for their festival on Saturday night. But on the other hand the hail did much damage to the gardens. It riddled everything. It cut up the corn especially, and made most of the gardens look like 'no man's land.'"

This weekend's (and this month's) rain certainly made the haying a challenge - and the lawns lush. But no major flooding, fortunately.

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