OCR Interpretation

The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, June 24, 1901, Image 1

Image and text provided by University of California, Riverside; Riverside, CA

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1901-06-24/ed-1/seq-1/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for

At least 300 mine mules were drown
ed. But little damage was done. to the
tnine9 proper, as the" drifts were high
up the mountain sides. Several. mines,
however, are reported flooded, but it is
impossible to ascertain the extcrtt of the
damage. ' ¦ • ¦.'¦ .
On the North Fork branch of the
Norfolk and Western. ,w!iich. is five and,
a half miles long,, there, was, no loss of
life. - V f-r.'"' known," but hundreds were
rendered homeless and to-night are
camping jn the mountains. „¦ The dam
age to property; on this branch is very
heavy. Only one* of 'the*, ten collieries
located ,ron this branch ' cscabed— the
Ashland— it ; being located at the ,head<
of;the.'streaml The McDowell Coal
Company, lost [ twelve .residences// The
Roanbke Company lost ;'J its t boiler;
< house J srid the } loo-horsepower * boilers
A full list of the names of the victims
cannot be ascertained at this time. Hun
dreds are missing, having taken to the
mountains to escape the fury of the
flood. The dead so far as recovered and
identified are: John Lewis and Martha
Morgan," white; Sam Poindcxter. Bet
tie Brown, John Ballard. Annie Smith.
Laura McCoy. Nellie Smith, colored,
all of Keystone; Ivan Soliskv. white,
and a colored family named Hairston.
consisting of mother and four children,
at Algoma.
end of the Elkhorn Valley to the other
will reach 200.
¦ ¦ .'. %
At East Plttsburg: the Westinghous*
plant. • which extends for nearly a mile
parallel with the hill. wa£ submerged
again to-day with six feet of water on
the lower floor.' which left three feet of
mud when it receded. More than 400 street
car motors are apparently destroyed am!
the '.of* to Westlnghouse. It is believed,
will reach $300,000.
0-M-M-I-M' t I til- H-I-H'-H-H-M^
life, the country it not very thickly *tt»
tied around there and I cannot hut* be*
Hove that it has been exaggerated. It Is
In the coal resrlons and the people ar«
principally miners. The flood must have
been due to a cloudburst, as" a dispatch
from Mr.- Johnson states that the dumaff*
to our property is on the Blu# Ssone ami
Norfolk branches, on© of-which Is *a»t
and the other west of the Flat Top Moun*
tains." .•• ::-
TAZEWELL. Va., June 23.—T.!i« train
master of the Norfolk ami Western n*il
road walked tho. track betw«*-» t Yivtan
and North Folk, a dtsUncc «f twelv»
miles, today. He 'discovered thirty t>«4
l«s Seating in the fiver. . yj;. ;. -\.1\. J'--
CONRAD HART, aged 12 years, of. D«
Queane. killed by a live wire la a viaduct
of the Monongahela Traction Company,
near his home.
JAMES P. DUNN, ascd 12 year*, of
Braddock, drowned in two feet of water
at Rankin.
CHARLES BITTNEJl. fanner. Sprln*
Garden Borough.. drowned in Spring Oar*
den run; • • " / -
MOSIE. MARCOS. Italian laborer,
drowned In a sewer.
E!x Persons Meet Death by Drowning
or Electric Shock During the /,
Storm in Alleghany / '
County. ' £':>*
PITTSBURG. Jtme 23.— The storm which
broke over Alleghany County on 8*tur-.
day afternoon carried with it deaths by
drowning and deaths by electric shock. .
floods that caused much damage and wind
that created terror and havoc. Every part
of the county suffered. The killed:
A y pathetic story is. told of a Hun-;
garian family at Keystone. The father
was at "work in the mines. . and '} when
the alarm was given did hot- reach the
drift mouth until, the town was partly
inundated \ He made; his wav to the
cabin, where : his wife and .new : born
babe ! -we're /.lying', helpless. \ He 'tried to
rescue both <, and after a fierce battle
with, the J waters, J logs and, - debris he
t cached'.' a place \ of safety with r them,
only to'disebver that both were'dead." 8 '
A' family named Hook living near the
river close to Pounding Mill station, on
the Clinch Valley . division, were all
drowned, six perishing. ; •
Late advices from the Clinch Valley
division' confirm the reported drowning
of. ten persons. ••;..•• •
In the Elkhorn Valley it is estimated
the loss to the railroad and coal inter
ests will exceed $2,000,000. Out of
twelve miles of main line, double track,
only one mile remains, and all the
bridges are gone. Some of the bridges
with the heaviest masonry and founda
tion resisted the force of the flood. The
Cosion Company, one of the largest
operators, lost a 1000-horscpowcr elec
tric plant, and many buildings and
coke ovens. Its loss is said to be
$50,000. The Houston Company is
damaged from $20,000 to $25,000. 'The
Ticrney interest, consisting of four col
lieries, loses heavily. Many miles of
tracks leading to coke ovens and mines
are gone. In some instances mine lo
comotives and cars have been swept
for ' miles down the stream. Fifteen
hundred laborers have been rushed to
the scene to work on repairs, and it is
expected that complete' communication
will be established before noon to-mor
At the Gilliam Company's eollierv
the power house and fourteen houses
are demolished. At Indian Ridge the
country store was completely demol
ished and the stock lost. The resi
dence ot Captain C: P. Botsford. the
manager, is wrecked. The North Fork
track is nearly all washed away, with all
the trestles gone except one.
LOSS WILL EXCEED $2,000,000.
At Rolfe a large number of miners*
houses were swept awaw.as well as the
handsome residence of the company's
physician. Twenty-five houses are
jammed together in one large mass of
broken timbers and debris.
were swept four miles down the stream.
The Louisville Company's storehouse
is a' wreck and the stock of 'goods ;i
total loss.
BLUEFIELD, W. Va., June 2.1.—
Details of the great Pocahontas flood
are hard to obtain, due to the inacces
sibility of the mining district where .the
fury and havoc of the angry waters
caused appalling, loss of life and prop
erty. At Keystone the water began to"
rise at 9 o'clock this morning and by
,ii o'clock the flood had spent its fury
and at least two-thirds of the little city
had been washed away or demolished;
It is known that sixteen residents of
the- north side of the stream lost' their
lives and at least fifty of those living
on the south, or lower side, were
drowned. At Burke, a suburb of. Key
stone, a number are missing and eight
are reported dead. It is now certatn
that the total list ' of the dead frbni?6rie
the Flood's Course in the
Valley of the- Elk
Hundreds of Wrecked Homes Mark
The town of Welch, county seat of
McDowell County, must. have suffered
seriously and, a number of the large
lumber plants along the banks of Tug
River no doubt arc entirely washed
The railroads and telegraph com
panies arc working between 1000 and
1500 men day and night. Officials arc
on the ground hurrying the work of
constructing lines and repairing the
road, and hope to be able to communi
cate with both the storm-swept districts
by noon on Monday. Nothing what
ever has been heard from the section of
country between Vivian and Wilkinson,
other than that the river is reported as
being entirely over its banks and higher
than ever before.
A report comes- from Wittens. a small
station between Blucficld and Tazewell.
that three children. Christian names un
known, belonging to Raleigh Brush,
were drowned early yesterday. There is
no telegraph station at Wittens. and it
is impossible to ascertain particulars.
home stood by Mr. Van Dyke, who was
absent from home at the time of the
cloudburst. While the rescuing party
was searching for the Van Dyke family
it found the body of a white woman,
well cKjd, floating down Plum Creek.
No one thus far has been able to identi
fy her, and it is supposed that the bodv
had been washed down some distance.
now occupying the banks of the stream
below, catching the merchandise and
barrels of whisky and beer as they float
down.- *
A great number of the coal and coke
plants throughout the Pocahontas dis
trict are reported practically destroyed
and are in some instances entirely
washed away. Owing to the very high
water which has flooded the region and
prevented communication, anything
like a correct estimate of the loss of
property is impossible, but from the
best information obtainable the loss to
the property will easily reach $2,000,000.
At LandgrafT the beautiful home of
General Manager Ord is reported gone,
but his family is said to be safe.
Passenger train No. 4 of the Norfolk
and Western Railway reached Vivian
about 8:30 o'clock this morning, met
the flood and was' unable to proceed
farther. The waters reached such a*
depth that the coaches had to be aban
doned, the passengers being rescued by
means of ropes strung from the win
dows of the coaches to the tops of re
maining coke ovens, some distance
Between the Elkhorn and Vivian
yards, a distance of ten miles. 100 cars
are said to be washed from the tracks
and many of them were carried down
the stream.
A rough estimate places the number
of bridges washed away between the
Bluefield and Vivian .yards, a distance
of twenty-eight miles, at from fifteen to
twenty and from present indications it
will be impossible to run trains through
to Vivian and points . west of there
under a. week or ten days. This will
render it impossible to get relief into
the stricken districts, and with those
who escaped with their . lives, homeless
and without food, indescribable suffer
ing is inevitable.
On the Clinch Valley branch of the
Norfolk and Western Railway, between
this city and Norton, communication
is entirely severed west of Tazewell, Va.
Reports come from that point of great
loss of life and property throughout
that entire section. t •
In Shakcrag, a negro settlement on
the outskirts of Tazewell. the water
stands to the depth of six to eight feet
in the streets and houses. All of the
, occupants have been removed to points
,of safety by means of a. boat.
Three miles west of Tazewell, on the
Higinbotham farm, the house of Paris
Van Dyke, a farm hand, ,was • swept
away, carrying with it Mrs. Van Dyke
and her four children. Two of the Van
Dyke children, John/ 17, and Charles, 5,
were drowned. Mrs. Van Dyke with
the remaining two children were found
at 9 o'clock this morning in a dying
condition one mile from where their
Cloudburst Lets Loose Torrent
in Narrow Vale Between
Mountain Ranges.
23. — This section has just
been visited by a flood, the
'extent of which, in all prob
ability, will equal or exceed
that of Johnstown- in 1880. so
far as the loss of property is concerned.
Early yesterdajfcmornmg, shortly after
midnight, a heavy downpour of rain
began, accompanied by a severe elcc
*rical storm which increased in volume,
continuing for several hours.. The
itorm, , a veritable cloudburst, con
tinued throughout the entire day and
Many miles of the Norfolk and West
ern RaDxoad track, bridges and tele
graph line*, are entirely destroyed and
communication is entirely cut off west
of Elkhorn. so that it is impossible to
learn the full extent of the loss of life
and property, but officials of the coal
companies located in the stricken dis
trict have sent out messengers to Elk
horn, the terminus of both telegraphic
and railroad communication, and have
received a report that on a conservative
estimate the loss of life will easily reach
200. Some of the drowned are among
the most prominent citizens of the coal
The Pocahontas coal field is located
in a basin, with high mountain ranges
on either side, Elkhorn creek flowing
through the center of the basin, which
ranges from one-fourth to one mile in
width. iU£
From Tennis, W. Va., to Vivian
yards, a distance of ten miles, miners'
cabins, coal company commissaries and
coke plants line the basin. The Elk
horn Creek, being fed by numerous
small streams coming from the .moun
tain side, rises very rapidly.
This waterspout^ came so suddenly
that the entire basin between the two
mountain ranges was flooded and be
fore the terror-stricken people realized
¦what wa* upon them they were carried
down by the flood, which swept every
thing in its path.
The little town of Keystone, with a
population of about 2000, seems the
greatest mfferer, practically the entire
town being washed away. This town is
the principal one in the Pocahontas
coal fields and is located near its center.
It was to a great extent the headquar
ters from which the mining population
purchased supplies and . was also the
only place in the field where whisky
could be purchased. At this place there
•were twelve or fifteen saloons, all of
which were washed away. The report
comet, that the mining * population it
vation. . .
NEW TORK, June 23.— Henry Fink,
president of iho Norfolk and Western
Railway, "was seen at his hotel to-night
In reference to -the West Virginia disas
ter. Mr. Fink "was' In receipt of a dis
patch from General Manager Johnson of
the- system. Mr. Johnson's headquarters
are In Roanoke. Va.. from which place he
telegraphed. He. said that the loss of life
was : reported to be v\ry larse and that It
was estimated that about 200 persons haJ
perished. -Mr. Fink said: \
"Tho amount of money lost cannot at
present be estimated. '"As to the loss of
Flood Sweeps Away Norfolk and
Western Bail way Track* That ;
J Are at a High Ele
' vation. .'...¦
Company of West Virginia Militia
Ordered to the Scene to
Give Protection to
CHARLESTOWN. W. Va.. June 24.— At
midnight last night Secretary of State
Dawson. In the absence of Governor
"White, who is at Farkersburg and cannot
be reached on account of the telegraph
wires being down, sent a message to
Colonel Jojin C. Hewitt, at Bramwell. to
take full charge of the situation and to
wire to the Governor the needs. The com
pany of National Guards at Bramwell was
ordered out to assist in guarding property
and more troops will b« sent as soon as It
Is possible to get them there. ' A supply
of tentage at Bramwell was ordered to be
given out to .the suffering, and as soon as
a relief train can be sent over the Norfolk
& Western road more tents will be sent
from Huntington and this city.* If the
road cannot bo ready for use to-tnprrow
noon a relief train of wagons will.be sent
23. — Bodies of flood victims
are being recovered many
miles down the stream.
' whither they were washed
- ashore. When it is considered
that the Elkhorn River is so -small that
it supplies barely enough water to flush
the coke ovens when in its normal con
dition, some idea of the extent- of the
downpour of rain can be formed. The
railroad company .now estimates the
damage to its tracks between this city
and Vivian at more than a half million
dollar?. There is at least a hundred
miles of track bordering Tug River
that cannot be heard 'from, as there is
no means of, communication intact.
The destruction of the railways ren
ders impossible the sending of immedi
ate relief to the homeless, and there will
be great suffering before anything can
be done. * •
Communication has been established
Washing Out of Railways Prevents
the Sending of Relief to the
Homeless Populace.
as far west as Ennis. this beinz through .
about one-fourth of the stricken dis
trict. ¦
Latest reports say that the. lower end
of the coal fields . between » Vivian and .
Gray suffered severely. Fully a' million *•.'
dollars' tlama.ee has been done to coal;;
and lumber interests. . * .. ......
Three daughters of Coal Inspector *
Dinsmore are reported, drowned at •
Keystone- They were alone in their ¦
father's residence when the flood carae;.
and all trace of them ts lost. — *,•-•
The Pocahontas "¦ Comoany : lost
$30,000 worth of cokeincars and coke :
yards. At least ico.freisht cars stand- •.
ing on sidngs collapsed, rolled into the .
flood and were destroyed. Freight
trains in transit were overtaken by the"
flood and some cars washed from the y
track j. ¦•'-.¦;
Relief committees will Jcave here at •..
daybreak for the stricken rctrion. •.'.-»
AN APPALLING disaster, rivaling the Johnstown flood, has visited the Elkhorn Valley in West Virginia, Precipitated by a cloudburst a torrent
of water vswept down through a narrow vale between two mountain ranges, destroying in whole or in part the towns of Keystone, Vivian,
Northfork, Fennis, Landgraff, Tazewell, Elkhorn and Welch, [n Keystone, a place of 2OOO inhabitants, only one house was left standing. Conserv
ative estimates place the number of deaths in the flood at 200, The damage to property will reach at least three millions. Almost the entire pop
ulation of the district has been made homeless. Miles of railway trackage has been washed away and the mines of the district are flooded.
Those who escaped death have fied up the mountains for safety and thousands are without shelter. Owing to the destruction of railway commu
nication it is impossible to send immediate relief. Troops have been ordered out to protect property and* State officials of West Virginia are
moving to succor the destitute.

xml | txt