Various Towns, MS, AR, TN Flooding, Apr 1927
FLOOD DEAD MAY TOTAL 500 PEOPLE.
LOSS A HALF BILLION.
INUNDATION SPREADING, TWENTY DROWN IN ESCAPING FIRE.
The flood waters have overrun at least six more towns in Arkansas and Mississippi.
Additional thousands of acres of farm lands also have been inundated.
The homeless now number more than 150,000, with the Red Cross preparing to care for more than 200,000 before the floods have run their course.
Fears were entertained by officials that the death list of a little more than 100 had been greatly augmented by the rush of waters down the Mississippi. Perhaps 500 are dead.
Cotton factors and mercantile experts of Memphis variously estimate the flood damage to date at from $400,000 to half a billion dollars.
A new break in the Arkansas river levee at South Bend, below Pine Bluff, increased the flood area in Arkansas.
Helena In Peril.
With Arkansas City already under backwaters and a deserted town, Helena, Ark., higher up the river, was threatened by levee seepage.
Breaks in small levees on streams in both north and south Louisiana were reported. Refugees were streaming into nearby towns.
The Mississippi river was rising between Natchez and New Orleans, with army engineers gravely concerned about the safety of the south's largest city.
Full resource of the government for food and relief work were pledged by Secretary HOOVER as he began personal survey of the situation so as to coordinate and expand rescue work and relief facilities.
Evacuation of refugees to large concentration camps went forward steadily. Hundreds of small craft were engaged in rescuing those who sought refuge on the levees, house tops, mounds and in trees.
AT NEW ORLEANS.
New Orleans, April 25. -- (AP) -- With the crest of the coming Mississippi River flood still far up the valley, Louisiana today began to experience difficulty in curbing lesser tributaries of the main stream.
The Red River, above flood stage, broke through Louisiana Railway and Navigation company levees in Red River parish and was rapidly spreading over rich farm lands in that parish, threatening to inundate the two towns of East Point and Crichton.
In the opposite side of the state the waters of Bayou Couriableau were flooding fields in the neighborhood of Port Barre, after the levee had been broken in three places.
Some 20 miles of farm and marsh lands in the neighborhood of Diamond, La., were being covered today by waters from the first Louisiana crevasse in the Mississippi river levee system. Fertile truck lands were inundated by the sweep of the water toward the lakes and bayous leading toward Barataria Bay.
Efforts to stop the flow of water through the crevasse had been closed, engineers said, hence there was little likelihood of being able to successfully close the gap cut by the molasses tanker INSPECTOR Saturday night. A small crevasse so far down the river will not relieve the situation at New Orleans, however, they said.
The river continued its relentless rise from Natchez to the mouth today. Thousands of men labored meanwhile throughout the lower valley to raise and strengthen the levee system to meet the rise of the river. Virtually the entire chain of earthen ramparts which follows the crescent bend of the river around New Orelans had been raised sufficiently to hold back the flow expected when the river reaches its crest. Several hundred men remained along the levees in the city, however, adding sand banks to possible weak spots and building rivetmens which any further rises of the river will make necessary.
No report of difficulty in main levee systems had been received tonight from engineers, although thousands of men had been thrown to work to reinforce the several thousand already employed. Throughout the night guards patrolled the barriers, watching for any tell tale trickle of water through the close-clipped sod.
In many cases electric lights had been strung for miles down the levee. Elsewhere gleamed the lanterns or flashlights of guards.
Governor O. H. SIMPSON issued a proclamation calling upon the people of Louisiana to raise their share of the five million dollars flood relief fund asked by the president.
The proclamation pointed out that the flood situation in Louisiana "is steadily growing worse with the crest yet to come."
HOOVER ON JOB.
Memphis, Tenn., April 25. -- (AP) -- Clothed with full authority from President COOLIDGE, to utilize every agency of the government necessary for flood relief, HERBERT HOOVER plunged into his task today with a series of hasty conferences here and a personal visit to the flooded area along the Mississippi southward.
Arriving from Washington early in the morning in company with Major General JADWIN, chief of army engineers, and JAMES L. FEISER, acting chairman of the Red Cross, the commerce secretary went into conference with HENRY M. BAKER, director of flood relief for Red Cross and army officers.
"The fact that the crest of the flood has not yet passed makes further expansion of relief and rescue facilities imperative," he announced as he emerged from the conference. "The reserves of the Red Cross and the government for the organization of rescue work and the distribution of supplies to take care of the evacuated people will be placed in immediate process."
"There are three things to be done for the flood victims," MR. HOOVER said. "First, we must get them out. Second, feed them while they are out. Third, and most serious of all, start them all over again when the flood waters recede. The United States is certainly rich enough to do that."
New Zones Flooded.
Swiftly and irresistibly the flood waters of the Mississippi and its tributaries rolled across new ground today in three states -- Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisians -- inundating additional towns and thousands of acres of farm lands.
Driving the homeless before it the floods claimed new victims here and there, swallowing up a Mississippi national guard rescue worker near Greenville, and Arkansas planter near Pine Bluff and the captain of a government craft assisting in levee strengthening on the Arkansas river near Gould.
With the known death list past the one hundred mark, estimates of the total fatalities ranged from 300 to 500. Rescue workers in the Mississippi delta fear that many lost their lives today as the flood waters condinue across that region.
The absence of any official estimates, varying calculations of the damage over the 9,500 square miles of water covered areas were made by business men here. These ranged all the was from $100,000,000 to half a billion dollars.
Breaks in dykes in smaller streams both in north and south Louisiana, were reported with a considerable area likely to be flooded and several more thousands made homeless. The crevasse in the Mississippi levee below New Orleans, opened Saturday by a steamer was expected to flood about 30 square miles. Towns which received flood waters today included Arkansas City on the Mississippi which was cut off from all communication with the outside. Marked Tree, Lake Villa, McGhee and Dumas in Arkansas and Indianola in Mississippi east of Greenville.
Arkansas City, a town of 2,000 people has been evacuated, according to reports to the Arkansas military authorities, with the refugees seeking haven in McGhee and other nearby towns, which are gradually being flooded by the Arkansas river flow. Evacuation also was going forward at Indiaola, Arcola and other towns in the Mississippi.
Memphis, Tenn., April 25 -- (AP) -- Twenty-five persons, whites and negroes, were drowned at Reads, a small village, near Leland, yesterday when they jumped into the flood waters to escape from a burning building, the Memphis Commercial Appeal said tonight in a dispatch from a staff correspondent at Leland.
Greenville, Miss., April 25. -- (AP) -- Contamination of the emergency water supply set up here several days ago was disclosed today by an analysis and warning was given to all citizens to boil all water for drinking or cooking.
This additional inconvenience coming after the many hardships already encountered since Greenville was flooded last week, did not serve to dampen the spirits of the populace and plans went forward for resuming business, at least on a limited scale.
Some business houses in the shallow water near the levee have opened their doors again and the clearing house association decided that all of the banks should open for two hours a day so that depositors might draw badly needed funds.
Five hundred white women and children and sick men were removed today to Vicksburg on the government steamer CONTROL. The Red Cross steamer TENNESSEE came in with a large amount of food supplies and then returned to Memphis but without refugees.
The remaining thousands here declined to leave their homes and business and the refugees on the levees are being well cared for by the Red Cross. An additional army kitchen was set up today.
Little Rock, April 25. -- (AP) -- Five more deaths by drowning and one from pneumonia growing out of exposure in the Arkansas floods were reported here today. Two of the five drowned were white men, whose names could not be ascertained.
Independent Helena Montana 1927-04-26