AT&T Tech Channel

About this video

In mid-July 1951, due to heavy rains, the Kansas and Missouri rivers overflowed their banks or changed course. This film shows the enormous task faced by telephone people in restoring service to the flooded areas of Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma following the floods.

Scenes in this film show the flood swirling over the land, leaving in its wake a scene of desolation and destruction. Telephone equipment suffered, poles and wires an almost hopeless tangle. Central offices were exposed to mud and water. And then came the job of restoring telephone service that was so badly needed to direct rescue work. Men and trucks came in from outside areas to lend a helping hand, and the Bell System expedited supplies and equipment to restore service.

This region is prone to flooding every few decades. In 1993 it happened again, but since the levees had been strengthened following the 1951 flood, the damage was not as extensive.

Producer: Audio Productions, Inc.

Footage courtesy of AT&T Archives and History Center, Warren, NJ

Release date: 06/17/2011