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Seymour Stores Report Costly Loss In Storm

June 30, 1942

Appleton got off easy in a rain and electrical storm that early Sunday morning struck with terrific force in communities west, north, east and southeast of this city.
Just what the total damage in this area would amount to is only a matter of speculation. It would include flattened peas and grain crops, derailment because of washouts of two freight trains, one of 15 cars and the other of 18, and spoilage of merchandise due to flooded basements, particularly in the city of Seymour where merchants and others estimated the total loss at $70,000.
The Green Bay and Western railroad was particularly hard hit. A west bound freight struck a washout at 2 o'clock this morning two miles east of the village of Manawa. The engine and the first five cars got by, but 18 cars trailing were thrown off the track, 15 of them falling on their sides. Three of the cars were piled against one another. Road officials hoped to clear the tracks by this evening. No one was injured.
A washout of the Milwaukee road tracks near Now Holstein caused the derailment of an engine and 15 freight cars and resulted in serious injuries to George Button engineer and Henry Bushey, fireman, both of Green Bay.
Seymour reported that the rain which fell Sunday morning resulted in the most severe flood conditions that city has experienced in at least 30 years.
Not only were home basements filled with water, but Seymour merchants sustained heavy losses. At the Muehl Furniture Company for example, the water ruined 6 davenports, a considerable amount of wallpaper and many other furnishings in the basement. The Maas market, Jacquot Cheese Company, Miller-Piehl Lumber Company, Hauch's Dairy, and Farmer's Implement Company all reported heavy loss in the Seymour cloudburst. In some store buildings, water filled the basement up to the first floor.

Rail Washout

The Green Bay and Western Railroad was reported washed out three miles west of Oneida over a 100 foot stretch, and near the Seymour Canning Company over a 30 foot stretch. Tie washouts were from three to four feet in depth. A bridge on a town road west of Seymour was destroyed.
Heavy rains for the past month, and then on of cloudburst proportion early Sunday morning caused heavy damage as water swept into the city from every higher point around. The storm started shortly after one o'clock and by three o'clock had reached a flood stage but it was not until later that the high point was reached.
Water rushed in from every direction toward the down town section of the city and to the north residential section, and almost every place from the Standard Station north were victims of the flood. Property was destroyed by flooding waters into basements and through the main floors of several stores. Combined losses are thought to have reached over $75,000.00. The proportion of the water can best be described by the fact that it covered the Depot platform, and flowed through the Babbitt Plumbing Store and others in that section of town.

Probably the heaviest loss was at the Miller-Piehl Lumber Yard where water flowed through the warehouses containing finishing building materials and throughout the entire yard. The Pauly & Pauly Cheese House received heavy losses on storage in the basement, and to their refrigeration system for the large storage plant. A loss of several thousand dollars worth of furniture, rugs and floor coverings was sustained by the Muehl Furniture Store. The Mc Cord Drug Store had some loss of stock in the basement as did almost every place on the street. At Maas Market a loss of about $2500 worth of stock and refrigeration machinery was reported. The Hotel Falck suffered loss of stock in their basement, as well as to four electric motors and refrigeration machinery. The Jacquot Cheese Co. also reported losses.

Hauch's Dairy suffered a heavy loss as the water swept into the basement, destroying stock and machinery. At the Keune Mill machinery as well as stock was damaged. At the Farmers Implement Co. the water raised havoc as it rushed through the building. Many reported losses in their homes when water filled their basements, damaging anything of value therein.
Auxiliary pumps were placed into service on the sanitary sewer system to keep the water from backing into basements and by Sunday evening the water had gone down. But to add insult to injury, during the heavy electrical storm Sunday night, the power line to the disposal plant was hit by lightning, burning out transformers, and putting the plant out of commission until Monday afternoon. As a result many property owners awoke Monday morning to find their basements carrying a portion of the back-up of the sewer lines.
Water was probably the deepest at a point just south of the fair grounds when as late as Sunday afternoon, cars could barely manage to get through.

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