Arizona Trails

Genealogy Trails


Under The Water. An Arizona Town Flood Swept.
Date: 1891-02-24; Paper: Kansas City Times
Under The Water. An Arizona Town Flood Swept. Yuma Almost Entirely Inundated by a Mad Freshet
Gila Bend, Ariz., Feb. 23.—
The second suspension of traffic on the Southern Pacific railroad in Arizona occurred Saturday afternoon, tho water from the Gila river overflowing the track at a point fifty miles east of Yuma for a distance of four or five miles, doing considerable damage to railroad and other property.
Salt River, near Phoenix; rose ton feet In an hour, sweeping away many houses and thousands of people in the valley of the river are homeless. The branch railway, running from Maricopa to Phoenix, is reported badly washed out.
Tho Colorado fiver at Yuma threatened that place yesterday morning and a large force of men were soon engaged in building dykes to save the town from overflow, but during the day the river broke through the levee and $160,000 damage was done.  Gus Lee was drowned and a large amount of live stock perished. The river is still rising and if it continues it will destroy the town.  Railroad tracks are under water.  Loss of life is reported from Gila valley, but no particulars have been received. The Southern Pacific track is washed out for twenty-four miles east of Yuma and is five feet under water.  One hundred houses have been washed down in Yuma and 500 people are homeless. Great distress prevails for want of food, clothing and shelter. A meeting was hold this morning and relief committee appointed, with S. S. Gillespie treasurer. School houses, churches, convent, restaurants and all the stores but one are flooded. The Yuma Times office is completely wrecked.  Advices from Solomonville stated that the Gila valley is flooded unprecedently. There has been great destruction of property and all travel Is suspended.

Flood Destroys Arizona Village Dam Bursts and Turns Waters Loose to Descend on Clifton.
Date: 1906-12-05; Paper: Oregonian

BISBEE. Ariz,, Dec. 4.— One of the worst floods in the history of Clifton, Ariz., came down the San Francisco river and Chase Creek last night. Chase Creek, which was tho principal business section of tho town, was almost completely ruined.
From seven to twenty persons Is the report of the loss of life. The name of only one victim, however, has been obtained, Mrs. Joseph Throm, who with nor husband and children, was caught in a falling building and killed. The other members of the family had narrow escapes. One of the saloons, which was washed away, carried several men into the torrent and they are believed to have been drowned. A woman and a child were lost in a small restaurant which was dashed to pieces in the flood. A number of small frame buildings In which people were known to bo living were also destroyed and it is known that a number of families havo perished. The Coronado Railroad from Clifton to Longfellow is destroyed. It. will be several weeks before business can be resumed over the road. The financial loss cannot be estimated. Clifton is a town in Graham County  Southestern Arizona.  In 1900 the population was 864. It is located at the end of a branch of the Arizona &  New Mexico Railroad and has a telegraph and express office. It is built upon the bank of tho Rio San Francisco, a branch of the Salt River.

Bursting of Dam Releases Flood and Town Is Demolished.
EL PASO, Tex-.. Dec. 4.—From information received here late tonight It Is believed that the town of Clifton, Ariz., has been practically washed away. The Copper Queen Hotel is said to have been swept away by the flood and at least 50 persons lost their lives. The concentrator dam, which gave way, precipitating the great flood upon the town, was constructed entirely of earth. The dam was carried away two years ago as a result of the swollen streams, and a number of persons were drowned.

Wall of Water Sweeps Down Valley Drowning Eight Persons.
EL. PASO, Tex., Dec. 4.—A special to the Herald from Morenci, Ariz., says: Eight lives are reported to have been lost in a great Hood at Cllfton last night.
The Detroit concentrator, dam broke, sending a wall of water down Chase Creek. Wires are down between Morenci and Clifton and no doflnite news can be obtained until messengers return from Clifton. The central telephone station in Clifton has been abandoned, having been pronounced unsafe.

Gila and Salt Rivers Cut Off Railroad Communication.
PHOENIX. Ariz.. Dec 4.—It Is reported that the Gila Valley, Globe & Northern Railroad bridge over the Gila River at San Carlos is gone. The Salt River flood has destroyed three bents, or 60 feet, of structural piling In the Phoenix & Eastern bridge at Tempe. erected in lieu of the steel span swept away in the last big flood.  The river is now falling and the weather is clearing.

Eighteen Killed in Arizona Flood Mining Town of Clifton Is Now Deserted by Its People
Date: 1906-12-06; Paper: Philadelphia Inquirer
Eighteen Killed in Arizona Flood Mining Town of Clifton Is Now Deserted by Its People. Who Fled To Mountains
SOLOMONVILLE, Ariz., Dec. 5.—
As the result of 30 hours' steady rain over Southern Arizona, the mining town of Clifton, with 3000 population, is swept by a terrific flood and hundreds of inhabitants have fled to the mountains for safety. The known dead tonight reaches
The catastrophe began with the breaking of a big reservoir in the mountains, precipitating a vast flood in the Chase Creek quarter of Clifton. The principal street was ruined. It was along this street that the fatalities occurred, as the
flood engulfed the people without warning.
Two Americans are known tp have perished, one being caught in a pile of wreckage and drowned. A new school building and a score of houses were washed away. The railway bridge is tottering. All information is sent out from a telephone office surrounded by water. The great smelting plant of the Arizona Copper Works is
badly damaged.  The Ariozna  and New Mexico Railway Company will be a heavy loser

Wilkinson is Located Young Man Who Dropped Suddenly out of Sight after Flood in Arizona
Date: 1906-12-15; Paper: Grand Forks Herald
Wilkinson is Located Young Man Who Dropped Suddenly out of Sight after Flood in Arizona Writes To His Parents At Crookston
Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Wilkinson, of Crookston, received a letter Friday from their son, Paul Wilkinson, whom they feared might have been hurt In the big flood which devastated Clifton, where Wilkinson is located. He is unhurt and writes very interestingly of the flood and the damage caused. The loss of life was much smaller than at first supposed, there being only fifteen people killed instead of sixty, as the first reports of the accident gave.
The flood was caused by the breaking of a dam at Morenci, Ariz., which Is about five miles from Clifton, and 1.000 feet higher up. This was what Is known as a tailings dam. used by a copper smelting company to catch the
washings from their copper smelters, and the rush of waters went down a long gulch and burst upon the town of Clifton with terrific force, sweeping away houses and causing a great amount of damage. The Arizona Copper company's smelter is located at this place, and the flood swept over their smelter. leaving a deposit of about six inches of mud and gravel. A like deposit was left all over the town of Clifton. Wilkinson, who Is a mining engineer, is employed by this company and he is at present engaged  in making cross section sketches of the gulch down which the flood swept.

Flood Takes out Track. San Diego & Arizona out Track. San Diego & Arizona Line in California is Sufferer
Date: 1918-09-25; Paper: Oregonian
San Diego & Arizona Line In California is Sufferer.
SAN DIEGO.  Cal.,  Sept.  24.—More than three miles of track of the San Diego & Arizona  & Railroad, near the western edge of Imperial Valley, was washed-out by a cloudburst Saturday night, according to reports reaching here today.
The flood waters completely isolated Coyote Wells, flooding all buildings in that vicinity. A mass of water ten feet high rushed down the highway.

Flood Waters Sweep into Arizona Capital Loss of Life Threatened as Result of Downpours; Property
Date: 1921-08-22; Paper: Lexington Herald
Loss Of Life Threatened as Result of downpours; Property Damage Heavy
Phoenix, Ariz. August 21
As a result or downpour last night and today, another flood, greater, than that of last Friday, swept down Cave Creek  through the Arizona canal and into the city of Phoenix, threatening extensive property damage and possible loss of life.
At 8:15 o'clock tonight water entered the state.capitbL .Twenty minutes later, the basement of the building.was full and  the water had entered the first floor. A wall of water eight feet high and several miles wide, according to reports received at irrigation headquarters, washed  out a section of the Grand Canal, one of the largest in the district, after sweeping the country between it and the Arizona canal. The flood waters extended from Phoenix to Glendale. a distance of nine miles, irrigation officials said.

Arizona Has Big Flood. Continued Rains Cause Canal to Break
Date: 1922-01-03; Paper: Oregonian
Waters Reported to Be Only Five Miles from Phoenix-Storm Said to Be Continuing.
PHOENIX. Ariz., Jan. 2.—Continued rains in the Bradshaw mountains north of Phoenix caused Cave creek to break through tho Arizona canal, the northern boundary of the Salt river valley irrigation district, again tonight. Flood waters
from the creek were approaching the Grand canal, the only large canal remaining between the flood and Phoenix.  The water was within about five miles of the city. Officials of the Salt River Valley Waterusers' association said that Ari-
zona canal banks gave way tonight at the same point where an 80-foot break occurred during a flood a week ago.  Officials said at least twice as much water was in the flood tonight as was in that last week. It was still storming in the
Bradshaw mountain district. Water users' association officials said that last week's break had been temporarily repaired but that the banks Were unable to withstand the pressure of the water tonight. They said that all of the system's canals
in the path of the flood had beon drained in an effort to divert the water before It reaches Phoenix.

Flash Flood Does Heavy Damage to Arizona Town
Date: 1954-07-31; Paper: Dallas Morning News
Flash Flood Does Heavy Damage To Arizona Town
GLOBE, Ariz. (JP) .-
Shocked residents of this Eastern Arizona mining town were still cleaning up the wreckage late Friday of a whirlwind flood that caused an estimated $2,000,000 damage. The rampaging waters virtually destroyed six blocks of business buildings, and left tons of muck and mire everywhere. One hundred volunteers worked to clear the streets, stores and homes. Cars were overturned and stores were wrecked. National Guard units, state high-way patrolmen, police and civil defense workers joined in an around-the-clock shift to clean up things. Many businessmen said they suffered as much as $100,000 damage each, of which little or none was covered by insurance. Three inches of rain started it all Thursday night. Within an hour, as residents fled to higher ground, the flood waters came cascading out of Six-Shooter Canyon from the south. At one time the flood was six feet deep, and cars were submerged. Undersheriff L. F. Quinn said no injuries were reported.

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