In September of 1938,
Hurricane Diane bellowed up the eastern coast of the United States. Lingering around the New England region, the large amounts
of rainfall resulted in a flood followed by high speed winds.
Before West Thompson residents
had even experienced the direct impact of the hurricane, they had already lost multiple buildings to the floodwaters. The
hurricane winds also caused a trail of destruction, resulting in several churches losing their steeples. Huge trees were completely
uprooted from the ground and wooden lots were destroyed. Homes were carried away by the raging waters.
The very landscape of
the village was altered by the powerful water streams. A pond formed where the homes of the Gendreau family and the LaCoille
family had once stood. Another pond formed just across the street. Both of these ponds were permanent until the West Thompson
Lake covered them in the mid-1960s.
Red Cross officials aided
those in need, providing water, food, and temporary shelter. The Red Cross also built the Gendreau family a new home because
theirs had been washed away.
Other Thompson residents
found refuge in the Old Town Hall for several weeks, pushing the wooden benches together to form temporary beds. Those whose
homes had survived had difficulty obtaining food because many of the roads were blocked off by debris. Interestingly enough,
the old West Thompson dam was demolished following this flood because officials believed this would help prevent future flooding