On this night in 1905, heavy summer rains brought sudden disaster to southwestern Connecticut. In the span of only seventeen hours, more than 11 inches of rain fell on the greater Bridgeport area, causing widespread street and coastal flooding. As the deluge stretched into the early morning hours of the following day, the Ward’s Mill dam in Easton burst, sending a massive wave of water roaring down the Pequonnock River that destroyed nearly every subsequent dam and dyke in its path.
When the wall of water crashed into the heavily-populated cities of Trumbull and Bridgeport, where the Pequonnock empties into Long Island Sound, the devastation it wreaked was incredible. The house of John Lescoe was torn from its foundations and carried a mile downstream while he and his family (who suffered only minor injuries) were trapped inside. Another Bridgeport resident died as his house was swept away by the floodwaters and smashed against a bridge. In Bridgeport harbor, multiple boats were loosed from their moorings and hurled against seawalls, bridges, and docks; one schooner, the Hope Hayes, ignited a massive explosion after its collision with the Congress Street Bridge caused electrical wires to fall into a broken gas main.
Miraculously, there were only two fatalities attributed to the 1905 flood, even though it affected one of the most heavily-populated areas of the state. Property damage, however, exceeded $250,000 — translating to well over $6 million in today’s dollars.
Edward Charles Murphy, Destructive Floods in the United States in 1905, U.S. Geological Survey
Compiled Newspaper Accounts of the 1905 Bridgeport Flood, gendisasters.com