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History: The Big Freshet of January 5-7, 1913

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By "Jim"

The following, excerpted from a lengthy front page article in the January 15, 1913 edition of the News, gives a chilling word sketch of the scene presented in the photograph submitted by Ann Curtis.


THE BIG FRESHET

_______

More Water in the Streams of Adair County
than Ever Before Known

_______


A heavy and steady rain commenced to fall here early in the night last Sunday week [January 5th] and the downpour continued, without cessation, until Tuesday afternoon [January 7th] about five o'clock.


Russell Creek was two and a half feet higher here than ever before known, and all other water courses in the county, even the smaller ones, were out of banks and spread until they looked like large rivers.

All day Tuesday people were constantly moving from the square to the creek, and many believed that the bridge at this place would not hold out against the turbulent waters. By two o'clock in the afternoon Tuesday the water had reached the bridge, and before night it was running two feet deep through it. It cut across the bridge on both sides and on the far side much of the current turned, which evidently saved the structure. Wednesday the creek had fallen and buggies, automobiles and wagons passed over the bridge...

Green River was higher than ever known. The floor of the bridge was washed out, but it was replaced Thursday. Columbia was shut out from all mails.
(Another front page article stated Columbia received no mail from Monday afternoon until Thursday evening around seven o'clock. The most severe structural damage reported was to the Plum Point bridge, which "washed away and lodged on an island a few hundred yards below." The bridge had been completed seven years earlier at a cost of $5,000. The article also noted that "Gradyville, that was visited by a flood June 7, 1907, escaped this time.")


This story was posted on 2010-11-07 14:13:01
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