Debris Piled by Side of Road After Flood, Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA

Accession Number

Debris Piled by Side of Road After Flood, Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA

Leonard Freed

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
vintage gelatin silver print on paper

8 x 10 in. ( 20.32 x 25.4 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of Thomas Wilson '79 and Jill Garling '80

Subject matter
This photograph depicts a view down onto a residential street lined with piles of wreckage in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Local residents converse across a debris-filled front yard in the lower foreground; they are rendered minuscule by the photographer's second-story vantage point. Though it made landfall as a tropical storm, former Hurricane Agnes became one of the most devastating natural disasters in modern U.S. history due to the floods and tornadoes it caused across much of the eastern seaboard. Wilkes-Barre was particularly affected and had to be evacuated when the Susquehanna River crested its banks, resulting in 128 deaths and billions of dollars in damage. Freed, known for images of the Civil Rights Movement, here photographs residents who have returned to the city after the storm has subsided. Freed focuses on not only the flood's devastation but also its effects on the community and on individuals. 

Physical Description
A man standing in the middle of a street that had been flooded. There are piles of debris in front of the houses.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
black and white print

Collection Area

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floods (natural events)
telephone poles
yards (open spaces)

& Author Notes

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