1901 - Stories of the flood of June 1901 that destroyed most of theElkhorn Valley on the Pocahontas Division

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Wed Oct 3 16:05:31 EDT 2007

Train related excerpts from newspaper reports of the Great flood of June 22,

Bluefield Daily Telegraph - June 25, 1901


The damage done to the Norfolk & Western is of a more serious nature
than at first reported. The double track from Ennis to Vivian, 12 miles,
is comparatively washed out and th ebridges gone. In many places the
track was suspended twenty feet above the ground, the fills having been
washed out.

On North Fork the whole line is washed out and the bridges gone. The
Crane Creek branch, where only the grading had been completed is
practically destroyed and will have to be graded over again.

The roads up Simmons and Flipping creeks are badly damaged and many
bridges gone.

Between Vivian and Welch as far as can be ascertained the road is
a ruin. The bridge at Norwood is gone and the track through the tunnel east
of Welch is washed out and no trace of it is left. Beyond Welch nothing is
but as the valley through which the river flows and the railroad is built
lower than
the coalfield, it is probable that the damage is great. It has been
estimated from
one to three weeks before trains can be gotten through.

The railroad company is using every endeavor to quickly repair the damage.
Every available man from Norfolk to Columbus have been rushed here. The
Westinghouse electric car, fitted up with a complete eletric light plant and
was brought by special train from Hagerstown so that work coul dbe
prosecuted at
night. Yesterday the shop men and a great many enginemen and trainmen went
special train to aid in the erection of temporary bridges.

The telegraph company had eight gangs of men rushed here to push the work of
getting their wires up again and the telephone company has a large force of
at work repairing their line.

It is estimated that the loss to the railroad alone, as far as ascertained,
will be over
half a million, and will amount to much more if their fears are realized
regarding the
track west of Welch.
Alex Schust

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