Pages of History: Storm swells river, washes out highway

By Nita Phillips February 07, 2013 03:24 pm

From the pages of the Crescent City American, February 1927.

A storm that has been dealing destruction to the entire Pacific Coast for the past two weeks abated Tuesday after having caused thousands of dollars worth of damage to ranchers, townspeople and highways in Northern California and Southern Oregon. 

Beginning last Thursday, a heavy seaborn wind and rain kept up a deluge of rain for over 60 hours without abating. Cellars and basements were flooded everywhere and streams were swollen until the flooded lowlands tied up traffic for over three days. Smith River raised to such extent that its banks would not hold the flood waters and bridges were washed away and great sections of the Redwood Highway were washed out.

The temporary bridge at Convict Camp was carried away, and sections of the highway in two places between there and Patrick’s Creek Station were washed out to the extent that it is said that traffic cannot be resumed until late May. It is now necessary for traffic from here to Grants Pass to use the old road for 50 miles. 

The flood also marooned dancers who were in Crescent City for the Firemen’s Ball on Saturday night, compelling many of them to remain here dressed in their masque costumes until Monday, at which time they were able to travel to their homes. 

Smith River flooding

The Smith River was higher on Feb. 20 at 9 p.m. than for the 32 years before. The barn of Bailey Bros. was in danger of being damaged as one end was undermined by high water. W.D. Tryon lost 15 cows by drowning. 

Enough with the rain!

As was noted in Thomas Peacock’s February weather report, we had some rain last month. If February had 31 days, it would have been even more. In one stretch of 24 hours, the moisture was 6.40 inches.

6 months for a jug?

Tuesday night officers Brown and Plaisted took Wm. “Whittie” Snath into custody on K Street with a jug of jackass whiskey.

This is Snath’s third time before Judge Potter, and he got a $500 fine, or in case the fine is not paid, he gets six months in the county jail doing hard labor.

In a little talk given the prisoner, Judge Potter remarked that for the next six months at least, you are going to earn an honest living. 

Local news in brief

• Heinie Westbrook of Smith River got married last week in Portland. Married a girl by the name of Lane; they say she is a mighty fine girl too.

• Pete Cadra has moved his battery shop next door to the left of where he was. Guess business is getting better for him all the time.

• Things have changed a lot in the last few months, but our streets are still rotten; can hardly get across them when you get off the pavement.

• Noah Berryessa, commander of Post 175 of the American Legion, is busy reconditioning his Studebaker Roadster preparatory to taking his annual trip to Sacramento. Mr. Berryessa was born and raised in Sacramento and still has family living there. 

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