Chronology of Venice Island Floods
1822 - Flooding causes damage in Manayunk.
1839 - Flooding from a storm destroys the Flat Rock Bridge, which must be rebuilt.
1841 - January flooding causes a local paper to write; "the distress produced will be great."
1850 - A September flood washes away 2 local dams. The Flat Rock Bridge is swept away and is not rebuilt.
1869 - Manayunk experiences its worst recorded flood on October 4, surpassing floods of 1822, 1839, and 1850. The Schuylkill River and the Canal join as one and water reaches the underside of the Green Lane bridge, which is destroyed as a boat is torn from its moorings and crashes into it. The bridge is later rebuilt. All mills in the Wissahickon Valley are demolished when the Fairmount Park Commission buys up the area to protect water quality in the Schuylkill River.
1889 - Flooding in the upper reaches of the Schuylkill River causes the Philadelphia Times to report: "There have not been many buildings in the town carried off, but there are few that have not been damaged. There is mourning everywhere for the dead. There are hundreds utterly destitute. They have lost all they had and have no hope of employment for the future."
1894 - Another flood batters Manayunk.
1902 - After a long rain, the Schuylkill River rises on February 28 and crests on March 1. River Road is flooded to the eaves of one-story buildings, matching the height of 1869 floodwaters. As the water recedes, everything is covered with a foul smelling mud that takes days of shoveling to remove. No lives are lost.
1933 - Portions of Manayunk are once again inundated.
1935 - In July, the Schuylkill River basin floods again.
1936 - Heavy snow during the winter of 1935-1936 and an early warm spell in February cause rapid melting and statewide flooding.
1942 - In May, the Schuylkill River once again experiences flooding.
1948 - The Manayunk area experiences another flood.
1955 - The Delaware River swells into one of its biggest recorded floods in history when the area is hit by Hurricane Connie and then Hurricane Diane five days later in mid-August. The Schuylkill River is not as severely affected, but does once again rise to cover sections of Manayunk, including all of Venice Island and portions of Main Street.
1972 - Hurricane Agnes rips through the area in June and causes major damage in Manayunk. Agnes is described as the worst natural disaster experienced in Pennsylvania. Flooding in Philadelphia is considered minimal compared to the upper reaches of the Schuylkill River, where evacuations are ordered in Pottstown and Norristown just north of Manayunk. Philadelphia joins the National Flood Insurance Program, committing itself to maintain the floodplain management regulations of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
1996 - A heavy snow in January, followed by sudden rains and high temperatures, causes major flooding that covers Venice Island and fills Manayunk's Main Street.
1999 - September, Hurricane Floyd, downgraded to Tropical Storm by the time it hits the Schuylkill River valley, once again floods Manayunk.