Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Flood of 1901

The San Francisco Call May 23, 1901

Millions of dollars of damage has been done and at least eight lives lost in Upper Tennessee by floods which began their work of destruction when a dam across the Doe River at elizabethton gave way yeasterday afternoon. Little mountain streams emptying into the Doe and Wautauga rivers swelled those steams beyond all proportions hitherto known, submerging Elizabethton, a town of 2,00 people, located at the junction and drowning Mrs. Gregg. Mrs Filley and a negro named Souchong.

The Wautauga pours its volumes into the Holston, spanned by many bridges which were swept away.
The San Francisco call. (San Francisco [Calif.]), 23 May 1901. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. Link

May 22 1901
The numerous streams of East Tennessee are overflowing and there has been loss of life and property in many places. Hundreds of houses on the banks have been carried away and people have been rendered homeless.

The greatest damage has been done at the headwaters of the Tennessee River where a waterspout burst without a moment's warning. A report from Greeneville says the damage done to the country is greeater than has ever been known. Every bridge in Greene County across the Chuckey River is gone.

Several of the farmers at Buckingham Ford and Allen's Bridge were rescued from second story windows. The entire family of John Hill, coloered, who lives on the Tipley farm, were caught in their home and drowned. Othere deaths were reported, but it is impossible to get full details with the communications cut off. The CHuckey River rose ten feet in thirty minutes.

The times. (Washington [D.C.]), 23 May 1901. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. Link

The Chuckey River in Greene County and the French Broad in Jefferson are also out of bounds and growing crops have been swept away all along their courses. Reports are reaching this point slowly of telegraph wire being down and great damage being down by the most terrible floods ever witnessed in the Upper portions of East Tennesseee. On the Chuckey river, six bridges were swept away doing damage of about $60,000, while along the stream in Greene County alone will amount to half a million dollars. At Leepers Mill on the Chuckey river, two Bolivar brothers fell from a boat into the river and one was drowned. The Holston river is rising rapidly. At Morristown, twelve house floated past today, along with one corpse. One hundred feet of railroad ties, bound together by rails, passed Morristown also. These are supposed to have been sent into the Holston by the Wautauga and to have come from Elizabethton. The French Broad has reached within four feet of its famous flood of 1867 and is rising twelve inches an hour. At Knoxville the Tennessee river is nearing the thirty foot mark with indications it will reach thirty-six feet tomorrow. Houses are being vacated along the river bank.

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