From the Forbes Library Special Collections:
"Northampton, Massachusetts. March 1936. A severe winter was followed by mild weather and heavy rains in March. By March 12th the Connecticut River reached 12 feet above flood stage, by March 17th a 15 foot high ice dam had formed by Mount Tom Crossing. On March 19th the National Guard was called in as bridges gave way and many communities were cut off."
"Over 50,000 people in the region were forced from their homes. When the waters began to subside, residents returned to find houses destroyed, several feet of mud deposited in their homes and streets and sidewalks washed away. The Civilian Conservation Corps hired thousands of unemployed men and women to shovel, sweep, and plow mud from the streets and rebuild houses and roads."
"This is the only known film footage of the immediate aftermath of the 1936 flood in Northampton. It was shot by Aubrey Butler of Butler & Ullman Florists, longtime city business owner, civic leader and film hobbyist. The film follows a path through town from the Connecticut River bridges down Bridge Street, past the fairgrounds, down Williams Street, Market Street, Strong Avenue and Old South Street before ending on the shores of the Mill River. The original 16mm reels were graciously donated in 2015 by the family of Aubrey Butler, digitized by Audio-Visual Archives of Florence, edited together by Jason Mazzotta and Dylan Gaffney and set to a soundtrack of period appropriate music."
Original film and narrative above directly from Forbes Library. Learn more about the collection here.