Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Talula Frandsen Nelson Remembers the Flood of 1918 ~ Flood Pictures ~ Shared by Judy Malkiewicz

Flood of 1918 as Remembered by Talula Frandsen Nelson
We moved back to the farm for the summer of 1918. The 22nd of June dawned clear and warm as the first day of summer should. My husband sacked up a load of wheat and went to the Mt. Pleasant Mill to get flour, germade, and feed for the animals. Soon after he left, dark clouds began to rise above the mountains, and quickly gathered above the seven canyons of Pleasant Creek.

The black clouds dropped their moisture in a cloud burst and the flood was soon on its way to the city. My husband, Ed, stepped to the bank of the creek to watch as the angry water came rushing past the mill. Soon someone warned him the flood was coming down the street behind him. He quickly climbed into his wagon. The millers, Erick Ericksen and John Fowles, turned off their machinery and jumped in the wagon with him. They hurried to cross the bridge but just as they got to it the bank gave way and the bridge turned as if on an axis and fell into deep rushing waters. They turned back into the street, now a moving mass of thick mud, rocks and debris and went as fast as they could, the horses in mud to their knees and the wagon barely missing the rocks that rolled and tumbled down the street toward the creek.

 As they neared the next bridge, it too fell into the flood-filled creek. They realized it was useless to try any more bridges'til they came to State Street where the new concrete structure would be safe to try. Here they crossed in safety, but fast moving mud, water, and rocks were a terrible threat to their horses and wagon.

When they crossed Main Street, a hay stack was floating down the middle of the street. Furniture, farm implements, animals, and chickens were being knocked about in the streets of tghe city. Ed arrived at the farm late and worried about the terrible disaster, about his father and mother, andwondered about our little home on 2nd North.

The next morning we went to town to see what had happened. His father, a cripple, and his mother were in their home surrounded by the foul-smelling mud. Neighbors had tried to get them out but they had refused feeling their house was safe. It took a few days before anyone could get to them as the mud needed to dry.

We learned that Louis Oldham had drowned in the awful mud trying to help Lydia Candland and her children across the creek on a pole bridge. The slick mud had splashed on the pole causing him to lose his hold and he fell into the swirling, thick water, as his horrified wife and friends watched helplessly. Later his bruised and battered body was found west of the railroad track by Thomas Braby.

A hay stack was seen floating down Main Street with a hen and baby chicks perched on top. Everyone felt losses of one kind or another.

Again on July 24th, 1946, the flood came, overflowing the banks of Pleasant Creek, filling basements, and entering homes and stores. Emma Madsen's home was washed away. Her furniture went with the heavy water, lovely white linens tumbled out of drawers along with precious pictures and books. Rex Matson's electric store was completely demolished. Beautiful lamps and appliances could be seen floating with other debris.

Good neighbors, church welfare, Red Cross and prisoners from the State Prison helped in the loss and cleanup. The City built a quarter million-dollar flood control dam.

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