Natural Resources

Landslides

Date: July 26, 1912

Location: South Side Road, St. John's

Easting: 371000

Northing: 5267650

Latitude: 47ƒ 34' 00" N

Longitude: 52ƒ 44' 00" W

Fatalities: 0

Injuries: 0

Source: Daily News, July 27, 1912; Evening Telegram , July 27, 1912

A very heavy rainstorm struck St. John's on the evening of 26 July 1912. Extensive flooding resulted in the downtown area, especially in the area of Water Street west, and South Side Road. The area between the head of Quidi Vidi Lake and King's Bridge was inundated, causing damage to crops in farmland. Many houses on South Side Road were damaged by water pouring off the South Side Hills. The house of Patrick Horan was badly damaged by a landslide. The Evening Telegram reported:-

Hundreds of tons of rock and clay were hurled against Patrick Horan's residence when part of the hill above it gave way, the back part of the house beaten in, and a river ran from the back to the front of the building for hours. Tons of earth, rock etc. were scattered about the floors and the furniture and effects were badly damaged. Mr E Coyle's residence nearby suffered similarly. In trying to clear the debris in front oh his house Mr Coyle had a narrow escape. A river about 4 feet deep ran across the road very swiftly into the waters above the Long Bridge and there swept under the parapets of the bridge into the waters of the harbour like a mill-race. Mr. Coyle was swept from his legs and would have been taken out into the harbour but that he was grasped by a by-stander and drawn to safety"

The South Side road area is prone to landslides with several other examples known, including two fatal accidents. A landslide also occurred in Petty Harbour during this same rainstorm. The exact location of Horan and Coyle's house is not known, but the Long Bridge spanned the Waterford as it entered the harbour, presumably downstream of the current bridge to South Side Road. The 1921 Census lists Patrick Horan as living in Fort Amherst - south, and Egbert Coyell (Coyle?) living next door but one.

 
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