The 50th anniversary of Flood Agnes is approaching, come next week, and residents recall vivid memories of how Elmira once looked.

The Clemens Center Theatre, named after Samuel Clemens, who went by Mark Twain while in Elmira, was hit by the flood waters and suffered structural damage.

David Peckham, Clemens Center Theatre Resident Organist, said the damage was extensive.

“The fire company apparently with the high-pressure hoses to wash the mud down the seats, and there was this big stinking mess here in the pit area,” said Peckham. “The stage of Clemens Center is below street level, so, that compounded the depth of the water, and where we’re standing right now, 8 feet of water on the stage,” Peckham added.

Peckham said that the original organ the Clemens Center Theatre housed is currently in Palo Alto, California, in part, to not being used for some time after the flood.