Deadwood, CO Flood, May 1883


The Waters from the Mountains Rushing Down Upon the Cities Below.

BISMARCK, Dakota, May 21 - A special dispatch of the Tribune gives the following details of the flood at Deadwood: Almost every day for a month there has been a fall of rain, which has rendered the roads impassable and thoroughly saturated the ground. A heavy fall of snow followed, but disappeared rapidly under the heavy warm rains of Friday night and Saturday. The gulches or valleys in the hills are from a few hundred feet to probably a quarter of a mile wide. Deadwood is situated at the junction of Whitewood and Deadwood gulches, and numerous other gulches emptied their accumulating waters from the mountains into these two main gulches, making a volume of water that rushed down Whitewood with resistless force. Central City, Anchor City and Golden Gate are on the Deadwood gulch, above Deadwood City. The greater portion of Central City was above the flood, but for Anchor City and Golden Gate there was no escape, the gulch there not being over 600 feet wide. Pennington is entirely gone. The valley is flooded and half of Spearfish is washed away. Crook City is nearly all gone. The water is now falling, though there is much snow in the mountains yet. GEORGE CHANDLER and wife, and two unknown men are known to have been drowned. Rope and basket communication has been established between the two parts of the city. The main residential portion of Deadwood is from 100 to 300 feet above the gulch, and the main business portion is also above the danger line. The portion destroyed was occupied by cheap tenement houses, second class hotels, laundries, small traders, sporting houses, livery stables, etc. Some of the buildings are built over the stream, which, at its ordinary stage is but a few feet wide. This locality is generally avoided, however, its danger being recognized. When the flood came, timely warning was given by means of the telephone system, which exists in the hills and the most valuable articles were removed by the residents - so far, but three bodies have been recovered, but it is believed now the loss of life has been great. When the flood came, it swept everything before it, excepting the most substantial buildings. The losses in Deadwood will reach $700,000. Golden Gate, Anchor city, Central city, South Bend and Crook city are all heavy losses.

The Atlanta Constitution Georgia 1883-05-22