Kelso, WA Cowlitz River Flood, Mar 1910



Rich Farm Lands in Valley Are Reduced to Gravel Bars - Crest of Flood is Reached.

KELSO, Wash., March 2. - (Special.) - With a warm chinook and a heavy rain at the headwaters of the Cowlitz River, the stream has risen from 11 feet 5 inches to 19 feet 11 inches in 24 hours. The current is swift and destructive.

The loss in logs, shingle bolts, piling, ties, poles and other timber products is estimated from $3000 to $4000. The destruction caused to farm lands, owing to the current cutting new channels and washing away banks, cannot now be estimated. Some of the most valuable farm lands along the Cowlitz have been reduced to gravel bars.

All the sheer, pocket and stiff booms from Castle Rock down to the mouth of the Cowlitz, excepting those belonging to the Metcalf Shingle Company at Kelso, have been carried out. The sawmill belonging to J. S. Beck, at Lexington, is completely surrounded by water and is in great danger. The Columbia River boom at the mouth of the Cowlitz suffered heavy damage, the sheer boom giving out early last night, causing the loss of all timber products coming out of the Cowlitz. The sheer boom at the mouth of the Cowlitz was the only hope of saving the timber coming out of this river, and when this was incapacitated the swift current carried everything out into the Columbia River, and when once in the Columbia, it means through to the sea.

The river tonight is at standstill at 19 feet 11 inches, and unless the rains start in again it will begin falling tomorrow morning. The wind is now changing to the north, which forecasts colder weather at the source of the river.

The Morning Oregonian, Portland, OR, 3 Mar 1910