Chippewa Falls WI Flood Sept 1884
HIGH WATER IS A REMINDER OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 84
WHEN THE BRIDGES WENT OUT AND THE CITY SUFFERED GREAT LOSS.
The present high water in the Chippewa river reminds us to a large extent of the flood of 1884, probably the most destructive of all previous rampages and to reproduce pictures of the scenes taken after the water receded. Note how Frenchtown suffered.
The Chippewa river is upwards of 500 miles long and is fed by several tributaries draining an area of several thousand miles.
On the night of September 9, 1884. A violent cyclone swept through the northern part of the state, accompanied by a tremendous rainstorm. The downfall was 14 inches in 24 hours. The tributaries raised to overflowing and crowded into the Chppewa[sic], which overflowed its banks and was a raging torrent that no power on earth could stop--everything before it yielded and when it was all over the damage was estimated at $4,000,000. The lumber companies estimated that 400,000,000 feet of logs broke away and were carried on to the Mississippi.
It was 2 o'clock in the morning when the first shock came, and before dawn the destruction was complete. The men on the watch had barely time to escape with their lives. The noise and din occasioned by the avalanche of liberated logs were sickening. Houses were carried away. Huge trees 30 and 40 feet long were shot into the air by their brothers, only to rise and fall again.
At 12 o'clock in the night the Wisconsin Central brdge[sic] went down with a trainload of sand that had been placed there to hold it. Shortly afterward the wagon bridge went and that night only one out of twenty bridges was left on the river. All mills between here and Eau Claire, the Gravel Island and the Blue Mills suffered severely. The water was 27 feet over the low mark.
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