In June 1972, Hurricane Agnes hit the East Coast with a monstrous and devastating force, bringing a deluge across multiple states and slamming four counties in the Southern Tier: Steuben, Chemung, Tioga, and Broome. Dozens died and property damage ran into the millions as Corning, Elmira, Owego, Binghamton, and other communities suddenly found themselves under water.
The flood destroyed the Erie Lackawanna Railroad, staggered the Penn Central, shut down Corning Glass Works for weeks, and devastated the Corning Museum of Glass—a major cultural resource. Lives and landscapes were forever changed when homes and businesses washed away in a matter of minutes. Henceforth, the region’s history became permanently divided into the times before and the times after the 1972 flood.
Through stunning images, The 1972 Flood in New York’s Southern Tier chronicles the extraordinary destruction of twisted rail lines, devastated streets, exhausted recovery workers, rivers bursting their banks, cars on houses, and houses on cars¬, all while capturing the communities’
Kirk W. House is the director of the Steuben County Historical Society. He also holds memberships with the Corning-Painted Post Historical Society, the Chemung County Historical Society, and several other agencies. This is his 12th Arcadia Publishing book.
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