(Hurricane season is upon us. Imagine not having a warning system like we do today. This film remind are a good reminder why we should pay heed to all weather warnings.)
In the 1930’s, several hurricanes hit the East Coast of America causing devastating damage.
In 1937, the Ohio River flooded in late January and February 1937, created damage all along the Ohio River and several smaller tributaries from Pittsburgh, Illinois, to Cairo, Illinois. The flood left close to one million people homeless, 385 dead, and $50,000,000 worth of damage.
The Los Angeles Flood of 1938 occurred from late February to early March 1938, causing the Los Angeles River and the Santa Ana River to overflow, and $40,000,000 worth of damage and 115 lives were lost.
Action needed to warn citizens
These natural disaster events in the United States prompted action and a way to forecast potential flooding to citizens. The telephone company tried to help warn of floods with the invention below, but I wonder how effective it was. It seems very primitive today.
Note with Photograph
April 9, 1938 – Weather Bureau observers stationed along the principal rivers of the United States soon will be able to follow the rise and fall of nearby river merely by picking up a telephone and dialing a given number. Preliminary trials for the last few months here show that a new automatic sound river gauge effectively and economically supplies the facts weathermen need in forecasting floods and supplying other information on river conditions for many interests.
More weather bureau stations will install the new gages as fast as possible. (1)A river gauge on the Potomac River in the Capitol, where formerly a U.S. Weather Bureau Scientist had to go to this gauge box to take a reading on the river’s height, all he has to do now is to pick up his telephone, dial the number of Potomac River, listen for a gong, then a buzz and at last another buzz, and then he will know whether the river is rising or falling.