Pittsburgh's Golden Triangle - 1964
The Worst Flood in 10 Years

The Point - 1964

Point State Park is inundated with flood waters on March 11, 1964 as record rainfall caused widespread flooding in Western Pennsylvania and along the Ohio River basin. The waters of the Allegheny River crested at 31'6" in the Pittsburgh region. This was the worst flood to hit the Pittsburgh area since Hurricane Hazel caused the rivers to crest at 32'4" in 1954. The waters of the Ohio River crested at 47 feet.

Areas hit hard included the Point and the lower North Side along River Avenue to Federal Street. Several businesses were forced to move merchandise to higher levels. The Heinz factory closed for three days. Several boats were sunk down river from the West End Bridge, Approximately 300 people statewide were forced to evacuate their homes as a result of the flood.

The severity of the flood prompted President Lyndon Johnson to conducted aerial surveys of the damage from his private jet. The Governor of Pennsylvania, William Scranton, declared a state of emergency and Pittsburgh was designated a disaster area. Floods remained an annual threat until the completion of the Kinzua flood control reservoirs on the upper Allegheny River in 1965. The photos below show some of the damage done to the Point and the Heinz factory on the North Side.

Click on images for larger photos.

Flooding near the 16th Street Bridge.
Flooding near the Sixteenth Street Bridge.

Allegheny River flooding extended
well into Point State Park.    The outline of Fort Duquesne,
one of the historically significant
features of Point State Park,
resembles a swimming pool.
Allegheny River flooding extended well into Point State Park (left); The outline of Fort Duquesne resembles a pool.

Floodwaters reached as high
as the roadway leading to the
Point and Manchester Bridges.    The blockhouse at Point State
 Park had a small moat.
Monongahela River flooding reached the bridge ramp (left); The historic Fort Pitt Blockhouse was flooded.

An interesting view of the ramps leading
to the infamous 'Bridge to Nowhere'.
The city had not yet secured the land
for the offramps and therefore the
bridge remained unfinished
for nearly six years.    Waters rose to near the top
 of the piers of the Sixth Street
 bridge as curious onlookers gaze
 at the quickly flowing river.
Water reached the onramp of the "Bridge To Nowhere" (left) and crested near the top of the Sixth Street Bridge piers.

Flooding at the HJ Heinz plant
on the lower North Side.    Flooding at the HJ Heinz plant
on the lower North Side.
Flooding at the H.J. Heinz plant on the North Side.

<Historical Facts> <> <Brookline History>