Page 1 of 1 Nov 1986 Issue of Colorado Springs Prospector in Colorado-Springs, Colorado

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Colorado Springs Prospector (Newspaper) - November 1, 1986, Colorado Springs, Colorado Colorado history from Early pay newspapers vol. 17, no. 6 Colorado territory Price $1.00mighty flood submerges Pueblo Dante s inferno depicted Telephone Jim. 5,1921 with their food Supply swept away by the flood their water Supply Cut off their Homes washed away and burning As they float residents of Pueblo panic stricken Are praying for Aid from Denver. The water is five feet deep now in front of the Post office. I have Ridden Twenty five Miles to the nearest Telephone. The flood swept Down on us shortly after 8 of clock Friday night. Thirty nine persons mostly operators were imprisoned in the Telephone company three Story building at Victoria and d Street. At 9 13 of clock Byron Thady test Board Man reported the water was so High in the terminal room on the first floor that he was forced to abandon it. Thady alone went to the business office to Rescue the records of Jun. 5, 1921 Colorado Springs colo., june 4. Dante a inferno could not be any worse than was Pueblo Friday night. Iver h. Dailey state representative from Laveta and Wilbur f. Cannon state pure food commissioner declared in Colorado Springs saturday night. Upon their arrival Here after a perilous eight hour journey bringing the first detailed eyewitness Story of the flood. A no one will Ever know the exact loss of life a or. Cannon said a and scores of bodies May never be found. But conservative business men and the police department declare that the dead will number at least 500. A the property damage will be not less than $20,000,000. When we left Pueblo at noon saturday the water had receded from seventh Street to second Street leaving in its path a mass of wreckage and human bodies. The water began to Rise about 7 of clock Friday night. The sirens began to blow and As if stunned the people seemed unable to realize the impending catastrophe. A the water began to Rise at a terrific rate. In less than an hour the depot was covered to a depth of Twenty feet. Up main Street Santa be Avenue Union Avenue the torrent swept. A at the Vaile hotel the flood reached the ceiling of the second floor. Houses were torn Loose and sent whirling thru the streets of the City smashing into store fronts and knocking everything in their path. A the first House to come up main Street crashed into state representative Morris a. Penters store whirled across the Street and Tore into the White amp Davis mercantile company building. Other floating buildings utterly demolished All the store fronts along the three streets that form the main business Center of the City. A water stood eight feet deep in the Post office. Telephone girls were rescued by boats from these cond Story of the Exchange. Headquarters for Relief were established at the Congress hotel and scores of people barefooted in their night clothes and some Stark naked were brought there for help. A men women and children Are in dire need. Altho the lights were out Friday night the Blaze of a score of fires lit up the scene almost As clearly As Daylight. More than 200 former soldiers offered their services to the state rangers. The state rangers took charge and established lines to keep out the curious crowds. A when the Arkansas was at its height Fountain Creek bringing its Wall of water Twenty feet High joined the Arkansas and increased the desolation. Houses corpses dead livestock automobiles Box cars Trees All swirled around and floated Down the Arkansas. At 8 of clock fires broke out from the uns lacked Lime at the King lumber company a Plant at the foot of seventh Street. A the burning timbers were carried to All sections of the City by the flood Waters setting tire to a snore of houses and a dozen business blocks with which they came in Contact. A a every Bridge Over the Arkansas River to the Kansas line and North to Colorado Springs is out. A corpses recovered from the wreckage were so covered with mud and battered that they were unrecognizable. As fast As the bodies were taken out they were carried to the court House which was surrounded by a weeping crowd eager to learn if their loved ones were among the victims. Messes. Dailey and Cannon had a perilous journey to Colorado Springs driving their Light Road Ster Over wrecked Bridges and along the Denver amp Rio Grande Railroad track. They were forced to build Bridges of their own and theirs was the first automobile to come thru. The Denver Post. Courtesy Pueblo Library District Western research room. Searching for bodies Corner main amp so. Main Man gets message out the company. Time after time he made the trip into the water filled room. At last the water had risen to a Point within eight inches of the ceiling. Thady carried out All the companies records to the top floor. On his last trip Down the swirling current of water caught the door and jammed it behind him. He was imprisoned in the room the door jammed and the water rising Inch by Inch. He fought to open the door. The enormous pressure of the water against it held it shut. Finally with a floating Board he pried the door open and escaped. With Daylight we found that Union Avenue was practically wrecked. Debris and wreckage some of it still burning was floating Down the Street. The fire started in the King lumber Yard. The police Are deputising everyone possible As a special officer a everyone with any degree of responsibility. It was almost impossible to move about. People were becoming panic stricken when it was Learned the wholesale food companies warehouses were submerged and the food supplies were destroyed. Few persons have food enough to last their families Twenty four hours. Then we Learned the water Mains in most of the City were washed out. No water the panic became worse. Fourth Street Bridge was washed out the fourth Street Bridge was washed out. The Union Avenue Bridge held firm. The last i saw of it a House had washed atop of it and was lodged there. We heard the Fountain Highway Bridge eight Miles South of Fountain had gone. It is near Buttes. Our poles Are Down thru out Pueblo and in the nearby country. The poles carrying the important toll wires Are Down. We will need enough material to build a whole new Plant. The switchboards on the top floor Are saved. It will be impossible to fix things until the water recedes. We have heard that a Missouri Pacific passenger train is trapped with All passengers in the Railroad Yards near the Nuckolls packing Plant. Another report has it that a Denver amp Rio Grande train is trapped somewhere a where we can to learn. He believes thousand persons lost lives thank god All the phone company employees Are Safe i cannot estimate the number of dead. It is too staggering. I should say from 800 to 1,000 persons lost their lives. I started from Pueblo saturday morning to find some Way to communicate with the Home office. The roads were almost impassable. I had to make wide detours. I climbed one pole and tapped the wires. They were dead. I went a mile further and climbed a pole and tapped a wire. It was dead. I kept on. How Many poles i climbed How Many wires i tapped i do not know. At last i got an answer i was on a pole Twenty five Miles North of Pueblo. I got a connection with the Denver office and made my report. The Colorado Springs operator Cut in on the wire and told me the Stratton dam had gone out a to warn the people of Pueblo. It is 4 30 saturday afternoon now. I am starting Back to Pueblo to warn the people that the Stratton dam has burst. A Louis Ayresman Plant chief Mountain states Telephone co., Pueblo the Denver Post. Jim. 6, 1921 it arrangements were made this morning for the establishment of an aviation Camp at Fairmount Park. A the Pueblo chieftain. I 2 Courtesy Pueblo Library District Western research room. Union amp main saturday june 4 when Daylight broke saturday morning a scene of utter desolation slowly emerged. There was no Power no potable water no Telephone no electric Light. Pueblo was completely Cut off from the rest of the world. Its isolation was Complete As there was As yet no radio

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