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Easthampton Man Remembers 1936 Flood

By Ray Hershel

(EASTHAMPTON, Mass.) (WGGB)– An 89-year old Easthampton man says flooding from Hurricane Irene is not as bad as the flood of 1936.

Dick Warnock was 14 years old when the flood of 1936 devastated the region.

As he looks out of his Clapp Street Easthampton home he sees flood waters from Hurricane Irene at a distance.

Not like ’36 when flood waters poured into his house, ” Three and a half feet on the first floor, that’s where the water was, that’s where the water was ,so it flooded your whole first floor, yes, three and a half feet,” says Warnock.

Warnock says it took three days for those waters in his house to recede.

His family used a boat to get around.

Warnock still has the old newspapers from 1936.

The special souvenir edition of the Springfield Newspapers  cost two cents.

Pictures show houses washed away, roads flooded,and ice jams.

So when floodwaters from Hurricane Irene started rising, he watched closely,” What we learned living here when you see it across the road it’s nothing to get alarmed about but when it hits the edge of the road over here in this low spot, you want to think about getting out,” says Warnock.

But high water from Irene  never came close to the water levels of 1936.

Warnock hopes he never sees another flood like that,” I hope not, I hope not,” as he knocked on wood.

While a section of Fort Hill Road near Warnock’s home in Easthampton remains closed to traffic, the water here is receding, and that’s good news to residents like Dick Warnock.

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