45th Anniversary, The Flood of `72

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This week marks the 45th anniversary of a devastating hurricane that forever changed the Twin Tiers.

Wednesday, June 21, 1972 was a typical rainy summer day in Elmira. Hurricane Agnes was still hundreds of miles away off the Carolina coast. There was nothing to indicate what the next 24 hours would bring.

Agnes started out small, then went to town. Water from the Chemung River poured over the barriers that line the river bank, quickly turning city streets into lakes. The raging flood waters caused widespread devastation.

The storm was deadly, in Corning 18 people were listed as dead or missing. Incredibly, there are no fatalities in Elmira. In just 48 hours the face of the city was changed. 

Hurricane Agnes changed the way the City of Elmira looked at the river, and while there is no way to know when the next big storm will hit, the city and county have taken steps to make sure the impact isn’t as devastating.

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