Edgewick, WA (other locations) Avalanche, Floods, Feb 1932



Seattle, Feb. 26. -- (AP) -- The death toll in Washington state's epidemic of floods and avalanches was raised to nine late today with word that three persons were killed and four injured in an avalanche at Edgewick, a small town in central King county.
Edgewick is on the south fork of the Snoqualmie River five miles southeast of North Bend.
Earl Henry, state highway patrolman, stationed in Snoqualmie pass, telephoned to Seattle for deputy coroners and rescue workers shortly after three bodies were recovered from the avalanche of snow and debris.
GEORGE JOHNSON and his 10-year-old son, GUSTA, were killed today when flood debris of boulders and rocks from Issaquah Creek at High Point, a lumber village east of here, overwhelmed their home. Four men were buried yesterday in a snow slide on the site of Seattle's railroad to Diablo dam in Skagit county.
Rescuers found JOHNSON a few moments before he died, lying beneath the debris, his outstretched arms holding the heads of his four-year-old daughter, HAZEL, and seven-year-old son, KNUTE,
above the flood waters.
GUSTA, after crying to his father, "Don't pay any attention to me, Papa. You save the kids!" fell face forward and drowned, unable to hold his head above water any longer.
MRS. JOHNSON and another son, GUNNAR, 15, screamed for aid for two hours before neighbors rescued them. They were in the upper half of the house when a 60-foot wall of water and rock sheared it off and swept it 100 feet away.
The little mill town, with 40 families, is situated in High Point Canyon. For several days the canyon has been dammed, above the town, by a natural barrier of boulders, tree trunks and earth swept down by slides.
At 5 a.m. today the dam burst with a deafening roar. The flood tore away power and telephone lines and in the darkness the neighbors began a search for the JOHNSONS.
Little KNUTE and HAZEL told how their father prayed for help and told them to be brave.
Sixty men at the city of Seattle's construction camp on the Skagit river in Skagit county north of Seattle were clearing away a snow slide which engulfed 10 men yesterday on the city's railroad line to the Diablo dam, in the hope of recovering the bodies of four workers who failed to escape the tons of snow that fell on them.
The other six were rescued a few hours after the slide.
The four buried in the snow are HAROLD A. BROWN, 27; CARL NELSON, 27; MELVIN J. SHERWOOD, 37, and GUS RYAN, 63. The injured were JOHN WOODY, 54, fractured ribs; JACK RHODES, 45, injured shoulder; WILLIAM ESERITT, 50, injured shoulder; CARL CRAWFORD, 50, internal injuries and fractured leg;
SAM O'PREY, shock, and LEO PRAUBUCKI, shock.
O'PREY had been in the snow four hours when rescued, and PRAUBUCKI seven hours.
Before operations were resumed in an effort to find the bodies of the four entombed workers on the railway line to Diablo dam, lookouts were stationed
a thousand feet above the tracks and instructed to signal the slightest disturbance in the snow. Twenty men were working clearing away an earlier fall of snow when the greater slide thundered down the preceipitous sides of the canyon.
All night long a black and brown airdale dog, belonging to BROWN whined about the edge of the half mile slide, digging frantically with his claws.
In north central Washington water was running heavily on the roads, but they were all open except Blewett Pass. Rain fell steadily in Wenatchee all morning.
Severe flood conditions were forecast in Snohomish
county, north of Seattle, within the next 48 hours. The Sultan river, tributary of the Skykomish, rose six feet in eight hours yesterday and was steadily approaching flood stage. The Snohomish and Stillaguamish rivers were also rising. Rains were continuing and higher temperatures melted much snow on the lower levels of the Cascade foothills.
In the past 24 hours 1.53 inches of rain fell in Seattle and 1.32 in Vancouver, B.C. Despite the heavy rain of the past two days, Seattle still lacked two inches of normal rainfall from January 1 to date, due to a number of clear, dry days.

Centralia Daily Chronicle Washington 1932-02-26




Seattle, Feb. 27. -- (AP) -- On the heels of warm chinook winds and heavy rains, western Washington was in the grip today of the greatest menace from floods and earth and snow slides in years, a menace which has already taken 13 lives.
In the mountains of the western Cascades, a death dealing torrent of water and mud swept away part of the little community of Edgewick yesterday afternoon, and four women, two children and one man were lost. The debris was still searched today for two of the bodies.
The melting snow fields in the mountains, however, in addition to threatening slides and devastation to whatever might be in their path, also filled rivers. In western Washington, the Stillaguamish, Snoqualmie, Green, Puyallup, Raging and Stuck rivers were bank full or overrunning their banks today.
From the Canadian line south to the Columbia River, highways and railroad lines were blocked by washouts, wire service was handicapped, and many families were marooned or fleeing from river valleys to higher ground.
Those lost at Edgewick, when a wall of water 150 yards wide and 15 feet deep broke loose from a natural basin, were: IRA MOORE, 60; MRS. ERMADIE MOORE, his wife; MRS. ELWOOD CLAGETT, 29; MRS. WILLIAM BLADE and her two children, ROSEMARY, 3, and MARGARET, eight months; MRS. GUST BALDER.
The others who lost their lives in the past two days were two victims of a flood at High Point, three miles east of Issaquah, GEORGE JOHNSON and his son GUSTA, 10, and four men entombed by an avalanche of snow in the Skagit river canyon.
Added to the accounts of lives being lost was a report from a railroad work crew east of Cedar Falls that six more persons, passengers in an automobile, were carried to death by flood waters. The report, however, could not be verified.
Out of Edgewick came descriptions of how the wall of water burst on the town, plunging on into Boxley Canyon creek and a short distance farther on into the south fork of the Snoqualmie river.
MOORE, one of the victims, had been sick and his wife was attending him in their small home. The waters wrecked it and his body was found a quarter of a mile below.
MRS. BLADE and her two children were in their home. Far down the creek, the two children were found dead among the debris.
Meanwhile, to the north, in the Skagit River canyon, workmen still tunneled and burrowed into the fast melting snow bed left by the avalanche for the bodies of the four workmen.

Centralia Daily Chronicle Washington 1932-02-27