Thursday, May 31, 2012

Vanport Flood - Multnomah County Video Footage

Yesterday was the 64th anniversary of the Vanport Flood. Multnomah County has posted archival video footage of it on YouTube.


MAX Redline said...

That's some amazing footage, there. Nice catch! As I recall, this was due to man-made global warming (well, and failure to maintain the berms, which is why the ACoE now routinely kill trees on them, as the roots weaken the structure).

T. D. said...

I heard about this video footage a couple of years ago. I'm glad Multnomah County posted it.

Max, maybe it was global cooling back then. Heh.

"Winter 1949 and Winter 1950

"The winters of both 1949 and 1950 provided residents with two back-to-back horrific winters, which shattered many records, combining both extreme cold and deep snowfalls. Most of those marks were so extreme that they are still easily standing today, eg. in the extreme cold category, the average daily low in January 1949 was 21.0 degrees, and in January 1950 it was 21.2 degrees, both breaking the old 'coldest month' record that had been set in 1888. Since 1950, the only cold even approaching these records was January 1985, when the mean monthly temperature was 26.8. But in the cold category, the really outstanding events of Winter 1950 were two out of the three times in history that Portland has been below zero!

"Portland's all-time record low was set on February 2, 1950 at 3 below zero. Salem's second-coldest all-time low of 10 below was set on January 31, 1950 (Salem's absolute lowest is 12 below).

"Deep and long-lasting snows! The winters of 1949 and 1950 gave stunned residents the experience of living in true 'Snow Belt' cities, with weeks-long snow on the ground, and many very cold days with snow deeper than 10 inches on the ground....January 1950's snowfall dwarfs modern contenders, with an awesome 41 inches falling during the long, cold month (the much-touted heavy snows of Decemer 2008 totalled only about half of 1950's)...... Also of interest regarding the winter of 1949 is the little-known fact that a very unusual early-season cold invasion occurred approx. October 19-21, 1949, setting all-time record lows for the dates that in 2005 have still not been beaten-- such low temp. records are found for cities ranging all up and down the West Coast, from Olympia, WA (23 degrees), to Portland, Oregon (27 degrees), to Medford, Oregon (20 degrees), to Sacramento, Calif.(35 degrees)-- and even as far south as Douglas, Arizona on the Mexican border (31 degrees)....This type of major cold air invasion was similar to the range and power to the Siberian Express of February, 1933, which set all-time cold records across several States that have never been beaten."

MAX Redline said...

I think the 1933 event was when people were driving across the Willamette River - I've seen a couple of photos of that.

Also bizarre:

"A memorable event occurred during that time [around 1934] when a young whale took a wrong turn and swam up the Columbia River. It got sidetracked into the Columbia Slough and there it stopped. No doubt it was bewildered. It became top priority for everyone to see. Traffic was at a standstill all daylight hours. Folks parked and walked tothe site. A man in a boat shot and killed the whale. It was hung in the City Hall for a short time until the odor became unbearable!" June Armstrong Cusic in St. Johns Heritage, Volume 5, Jan. 1997, 29.

T. D. said...

Ah, history! Amazing how it broadens one's horizons about what is "normal". Thanks for the reminders, Max.