MASTER INDEX TO HISTORICAL
NEWSPAPER FLOOD ARTICLE RESEARCH
Researched, assembled and organized by: Dan
Berentson, Josef and Larry
Index prepared by Larry Kunzler,
argus of 1897 Tells of high water
After being on good behavior for nearly a year the Skagit river got on an obstreperous streak last Friday
night and came up ten feet to let the people know it had not forgotten its
old job. After causing many prophesies it tumbled back into its old
ruts and now there is scarcely enough water to allow a Missouri
river sucker to come up stream without the aid of
propellers. The Skagit is all right—no
moss on its back or banks either. This item was written too
early. She is boiling again.
River came up ten feet.
early pioneers settled in mount vernon before 1870; incorporated 1890
Early History of Mount Vernon is Recalled; Local Community
was first Permanent Inland Town Started in County.
…as early as 1870 two pioneer families had settled near the
big log jam in the Skagit river to lay the foundation of the present Mount Vernon.
Jasper Gates was the first to settle here, preceding Joseph F Dwelley by a
few months. . . .
Two Log Jams
Two huge log jams in the Skagit,
one centuries old, proved major obstacles in the community’s development but
the hearty pioneers with brain, brawn and perseverance, finally were
victorious and following the opening of the river, the community grew
rapidly. The largest of the log jams was located about a mile above the
present city while the second was a half-mile below. So dense and solid
were the jams that even large trees grew on top of the debris. . .
. By 1874 Mt. Vernon and the upper valley had enough settlers to
seriously consider means to break the log jams Indians reported had been
Samuel Calhoun and Michael J. Sullivan were the first of a
group of foresighted farmers who set foot on Skagit
mainland soil, seeking to reclaim it and convert it into farmland.
Two Log Jams
Indians said log jams “always existent”.
flood control project fails to
$3,150,000 Expenditure on Skagit River
Is Frowned Upon—2 Other Projects Out—Army Engineer Makes Report Before House
Committee in National Capital
Three Skagit county projects, calling for an estimated
expenditure of $3,274,000, may be stricken from the 1941-42 program of the U.S.
government; it was revealed in Wash. D.C., late yesterday afternoon when
Manor General Julian L. Schley, chief of the army engineers, made a report to
the house appropriations committee during hearings on the war department
civil functions bills.
Could not be determined from article what the $3,150,000
Skagit River Damages
Farm Lands and Roads
Flood control conditions on the Skagit
river are rapidly reaching the emergency state and immediate action is
necessary to save thousands of acres of valuable farm land. During the
past week or two, conditions in the Utopia district have rapidly become
worse, with many acres of fine farmland, being washed down stream. . .
. The road has been washed out again, and the river is cutting into the
north bank more rapidly than ever. The farmers blame the logging
operators and tow boats for this increased destruction. They say that
the log raft, tied across the river, has caused the channel to swing to the
north and that the log tows are constantly snagging on the banks and helping
undermine them. The farmers also claim that a little more work on the
bar, would form a channel and relieve the pressure on the north bank, where
their farms are located. They also claim that a little work by the snag
boat would go a long way to helping the present emergency, but the new snag
boat is too big to be able to come up the river. They wonder just what
it is for, except to provide a nice home for the crew. The county
commissioners will do nothing to save the land, stating the problem is too
great for them, and the U.S.
army engineers, have promised to investigate, as they have been doing for
forty years. . . . The farmers who see their entire life work,
washing down stream, with the prospect of losing their homes, are getting
desperate, and are demanding something more than a federal investigation and
survey. . . . County
Carrand and an officer of the snag boat visited the Utopia district
yesterday. They told the farmers that nothing could be done by the snag
boat, which could not get up the river, but advised them to take action,
although they could not be officially given permission to do so. The
logging operators were instructed to remove their raft of logs.
Logging Interest Blamed For
Erosion Of River Banks
Thousands of acres threatened.
Log raft tied on south bank caused river current to swing
to the north.
County Commissioners say problem too big for them.
Nothing could be done by the snag boat.
u.s. survey to
be made here of skagit water resources
A systematic study of the streams of Skagit county, to
determine flow and volume of water, is to be made by the United States survey crew at
once, following discussion at a recent meeting of the county planning
council. . . . According to estimates, the cost of a complete
survey of all rivers and streams will be about $12,000.
river at door of ninth utopia home --
state and county fail to maintain revetments; skagit cuts 200 feet in few
weeks; more homes in danger
Three or four more days and another Utopia home will be in
the Skagit river because neither the county nor
the state could see to furnishing a comparatively small maintenance fund for
the revetments put along the river by the federal government a few years back
at the cost of many hundreds of thousands of dollars. The home of
George Betschart just behind the Utopia school is being moved today as the
river has already cut into the front yard, slicing off more than 200 feet of
land in the last two or three weeks and now only a few feet short of the
front porch. . . . Ninth Home to Move -- The Betschart
home is the ninth home in the past twenty years or less that has had to be
either moved or torn down in the path of the Skagit in the two bends in that
area. Six silos, two of concrete, as well as many barns and other
buildings have had to be transported out of the water’s path. An
estimated 250 or 300 acres of cleared land have been carried down the river
in that period from that area. . . . In the late
1930’s the federal government allotted hundreds of thousands of dollars for
revetments along the Skagit, the largest river in the State of Washington next to the Columbia, to keep it in its proper
bed. A comparatively small sum of $10,000 a year was asked from either
the county or state for a maintenance fund to keep the revetments up.
This was not obtained, and, as a result, the river is this week taking its
ninth home in the Utopia area alone. Lacked Support -- The
government had more funds available for additional revetments but would not
donate them unless the state or county could supply a small maintenance
fund. It was not done. . . . There is also the danger that
should the river cut through at one other point, which is not at all
unlikely, the city of Sedro-Woolley will have the second largest river in the
State of Washington flowing through its main streets.
Erosion On Skagit
Continues In Utopia Area
8 homes already moved from edge of river. 9th
home threatened. County and state blamed for not providing maintenance
funds of previous erosion control projects.
250 to 300 acres eroded in last 20 years.
Perceived danger was that Skagit
would cut through and flow into Sedro-Woolley.
Danger Point Flood Works Suggested
Preventive flood control works at danger points rather
than a complete upstream-to-lowland revetment program appears advisable on
the upper Skagit river, County Engineer H.O.
Walberg said Wednesday night following an inspection trip by Parker tugboat
to Lyman ferry crossing. He said federal soil conservation service
officials who accompanied him on the trip were inclined to similar
opinions. Possibility was seen that plans for comprehensive studies of
the exact needs for flood control along the river could be undertaken soon as
far as the vital points of the stream were concerned. Damage from the
recent high water, while it was serious in the case of individual farmers,
notably in the Utopia district, was not appreciable from the over-all standpoint,
Walberg said. “The big danger, of real, wide-spread damage, is that of
a change in the course of the river,” the engineer declared.
Needed more studies of the river.
Damage referenced would have been from December 2, 1941
flood, 30.17 in Concrete, 25.99 in Mt.
Concerned about channel changes.
soil engineers hope to get relief for utopia
Soil Conservation Service officials, county and state men
yesterday studied in detail the erosion problems on the Skagit river between
Mount Vernon and the Lyman ferry. . . . First, a short range
emergency program at three critical spots on the river, the Utopia bend, at
the bend below Utopia at what was the old Buchanan farm and at the head of
Skiyou Slough on the present Reece farm. Second, a longer range master
plan for coordinated improvement as new critical areas develop. Such a
critical area seems to be developing on the last bend of the river before it
enters the straight stretch towards the Sedro-Woolley bridge. Here it
might prove expedient to change the course of the river back into what is now
called Deadman’s slough. . . . Alarming erosion was noted
continuously on one side of the river or the other with few exceptions all
the way from the Great Northern bridge to Lyman. Of the brush revetment
installed five years ago only the job at Lyman has proven itself. A
revetment at Utopia has been abandon by the river while all the other jobs
have been undermined along the toe and have completely disintegrated or are
beyond repair. . . . It is a well known fact that the upriver
erosion which seems critical only to the farmers living on the immediate bank
of the river is the cause of excessive siltation on the lower stretches of
the river where the expensive dikes may soon have to be raised.
SCS Recommends Emergency Plan For
Skiyou, and Utopia
SCS floated the idea of changing the channel of the Skagit back into “Deadmans Slough” (was on left bank of
river near Day Creek. Now part of main river channel.)
Erosion from Sedro-Woolley bridge to Lyman.
All WPA work destroyed except at Lyman.
soil district favors aid on river erosion -- local
farmers to ask for
county help program
The Skagit Soil District supervisors at their regular
monthly meeting last Saturday approved participation by the district in the
river erosion control program being developed for the Lyman-Sedro-Woolley
stretch of river. Supervisor Fred Martin, chairman of the district
supervisors, insisted that “the soil district’s participation hinge upon a
long term agreement for continuous control of the river. Supervisor
Fred Martin, chairman of the district supervisors, insisted that “the soil
district’s participation hinge upon a long term agreement for continuous control
of the river as new problem areas develop in the years to come and for
maintenance of work done already.” Mr. Martin felt that the soil
conservation district should not rush into this emergency and correct the
Utopia-Skiyou Slough danger spots only to have the money wasted by lack of
long term maintenance. Grover Duvall, supervisor, stated that if the
river is allowed to go through the new Wiseman creek course it is now
developing, down stream siltation may become an immediate serious problem to
the farmers on the flats. Mr. Duvall cited from his own observations
the effect of the cut through the Sterling
bend some years back. First, he noticed that the river at his farm
suddenly started to cut a deeper channel as the speed of the water increased.
The water table on his farm dropped sharply with the result that he had to
lower his well pumps six feet all over the farm. Mr. Duvall’s second
observation was that the river at this same time developed the present gravel
and silt bar between the Great Northern and Mount Vernon-Riverside
bridge. If the river up-stream is allowed to cut a new channel between
the Buchanan and Reece farm down Wiseman creek the diking districts on the
flats and navigation interests may be immediately affected.
SCS Wanted Long-Term Agreement For
Continuous Control Of The River
SCS participation hinged on long-term agreement for
maintenance of erosion control projects.
Sterling farmer noticed that river cut deeper channel
after Skagit cut-off Sterling Bend (which we
now know was helped along with dynamite in 1911). Water table at Sterling dropped at
least 6 feet.
. . . Erosion control and fishery development
comprised the major items of discussion with representatives of the state
department of fisheries and the Skagit soil
conservation district present. . . . That plans are now being initiated
for post war work in fisheries was revealed by Clausen who pointed out that
the future work must make possible greater spawning areas and protection of
river assets now available in Skagit county.
In the wide-scale postwar program for Skagit county, he listed eight projects
headed by the creation of a Skagit river
fish hatchery. . . . Other projects in Skagit county include the
removal of barriers and dam at Nookachamps creek; survey of additional water
supply . . . Sauk river power and flood control dam site; study of the
proposed Cascade river power and flood control dam site; installation of
facilities at the Baker river dam to aid fish in entering and leaving the
Baker river area; and fish way over the east fork falls of Nookachamps creek.
Present work on the Skagit water problem
includes the establishment of 16 gauge stations in the county. . . .
The need for immediate work on the erosion problem was emphasized by Mr.
Dickey as the critical situation in the Lyman-Sedro-Woolley area was again
Skagit River fish hatchery, remove dam
barriers on Nookachamps Creek; fish facilities at Lower Baker.
Flood projects being looked at included dam sites on Sauk River
and Cascade River.
Erosion control looked at between Sedro-Woolley and Lyman.
Upper Skagit Dams Are
Huge Asset To County (Editorial)
Be it said to the everlasting credit and honor of “J.D.”
Ross and his zealous associates, a few of whom are still living and carrying
on, and to the credit of the good people of Seattle who followed their
leadership, they have created a marvelous, living, pulsating, engineering
project on the upper Skagit river that will endure and serve the people of
their city and adjoining coast communities for countless generations to
come. They have reclaimed a mountain wilderness for human service, they
have transformed a raging, rushing river, confined for thirty long miles in
an almost inaccessible, towering, precipitous canyon, into a modern gigantic
hydroelectric power system. They have harnessed nature, without
destroying it, to serve the needs of man. They have taken possession of
the flood waters of this short but mighty Pacific Coast
river, removing the menace of annual disaster to the rich and broad valley
lands below, and stored them to furnish more power. . . . It
really belongs to Skagit County by every rule of geography and contiguity,
although the first and original Gorge Powerhouse at Newhalem lies three miles
north of our county boundary line is, therefore, in Whatcom County.
. . . Every mile of inhabited and cultivated Skagit valley, aside from
the project installations, lies in Skagit
County. Some day
we hope the legislature will consider these facts seriously enough to attach
this eastern area of Whatcom County to Skagit County,
of which it should be a part for all practicable purposes. . . . County Job
Building the Skagit
project was not child’s play but a man’s job. It took grit, courage,
sweat, and hardship to drive tunnels, build dams, install machinery, to even
set up living quarters up there. The cost cannot be measured in
money. Where the upper dam, Ross Dam, was built in the past few years
and where it is now being raised, there wasn’t a level spot on which to build
crude living quarters. . . . It is probably the world’s worst
construction site. An idea of the depth of the river canyon – a narrow
one at that – is gained from the fact that this man-made reservoir, or lake,
is 100 feet deep in the channel between Diablo and Ross Dams, a distance of
about eight miles. Above Ross Dam, Ruby
Lake spreads out with less depth and
when new work on this dam is finally completed, this reservoir will back up
five miles into Canada.
already acquired the necessary Canadian property and flood rights. Three
Units The Seattle
project consists of three separate units, built in series. Briefly the
original Gorge powerhouse at Newhalem, opened in 1924, receives its water
through an 11,000-foot tunnel heading in the river about three miles
upstream. Seven miles above Newhalem, reached by the electric gorge
railway, is Diablo Dam and powerhouse. This water comes from Diablo Lake and consists of the entire flow
and storage of the river above Newhalem. Construction of the highest,
or Ross power plant, waits on the completion of this dam. . . . Hunters’
Paradise . . . Towering above the construction camp 175 feet,
or 305 feet from solid bedrock, Ross Dam presents a veritable facsimile of
Niagara Falls, a roaring, fascinating cataract, whose clouds and sheets of
spray at times envelop and drench everything within hundreds of feet. .
. . Would Raise Dam Engineers estimate that the present
Ross structure can be safely pushed up 235 feet higher, or 75 feet higher
than the contractors are now building it. Efforts are being made to do
this but the decision is in the hands of the Federal Power Commission.
. . . For comparative purposes it may be stated that the Diablo plant
operates on a 313-foot head of water. It is also important and
reassuring to know that Ross Dam is 200 feet thick at its base, tapering to
65 feet at the top, crown measurements. Huge Reservoir Of
special and vital interest to Skagit
County and its people
are the figures on reservoir storage, for this constitutes flood water
Lake now contains
90,000 acre-feet of water. Ruby
Lake is about 10,000 acre-feet
larger. When the present contractors raise Ross Dam 160 feet, the water
storage in Ruby
Lake will increase to
676,000 acre-feet. If and when the dam is raised another 75, as desired
but not authorized, Ruby Lake will reach the enormous size of 1,400,000
acre-feet and, as related, will cross the Canadian border, a body of water 21
miles in length. Thus, practically the complete flow of the Skagit River will be controlled and
harnessed, i.e. the river above Newhalem. . . . The dams on the
upper Skagit built by the City of Seattle have
unquestionably alleviated flood conditions in the lower valley and the
greater storage planned for Ruby
Lake will remove the
menace, as long as the dams hold. . . . Skagit County’s
Interest . . . Mr. Hoffman, who is no stranger to Skagit County,
wants our people to know more about the Skagit
project and take a deeper interest in it. . . . He would like us
to feel that these dams are reservoirs have given us greater security against
lower valley floods. . . . Some day we hope we may utilize some
of this power created by our own river. It is our project as well as Seattle’s.
Upper Skagit Dams As Much Skagit
County’s Project As Seattle’s
Praises J.D. Ross.
Transformed a raging, rushing river, into a modern
gigantic hydroelectric power system.
Taken floodwaters and removed the menace of annual
disaster to the rich and broad valley lands below.
Wanted legislature to annex dam sites into Skagit County.
Diablo Lake 100 feet deep and 8 miles long.
Gorge powerhouse opened in 1924.
“…practically the complete flow of the Skagit River
will be controlled and harnessed…”
Dams have unquestionably alleviated flood conditions in
the lower valley and the greater storage planned for Ruby
Lake (Ross Lake)
will remove the menace, as long as the dams hold.
soil experts to rush work on river here -- u.s.
army cooperating to speed erosion prevention
Fred Martin, chairman of the soil conservation district
supervisors, announced yesterday that the U.S. Army engineers were
cooperating in the erosion-siltation control project now being set up by the
Soil Conservation District. Mr. Martin received data sheets and maps
from previous surveys by the engineers in Hamilton-Sedro-Woolley sector of
the Skagit River. In their letter the army
engineers made it clear that before any construction work is done on the
river, the Soil Conservation District must file with the army engineers
complete engineering plans for channel changes or any bank revetment
work. The army is concerned with impediments that might be a hazard to
up stream navigation. . . . The construction in the three
critical points, Utopia school, Wiseman creek and the head of Skiyou slough,
will then go forward as county financing of the project is cleared up and
army engineer’s approval is secured on the proposals.
Corps Wanted Plans For Proposed
Erosion Control Work
Work near the Utopia school, Wiseman Creek and the head of
Skiyou was proposed. Corps concerned about channel changes creating
“impediments” to upstream navigation.
skagit river and
probable new hatcheries, considered
With the Skagit river listed as the second most valuable stream
in the State of Washington, from the fisheries standpoint, representing as it
does a total value of some $1,600,000 from takes for commercial and sport
fishing, the state department of fisheries is scheduling a post-war fisheries
program headed by the creation of a Skagit river fish hatchery and three
large stations on the main Skagit river for the study of fishing, greater
spawning areas and general protection of river assets now available in Skagit
Commercial and sport fishermen represented $1,600,000 in Skagit fish takes.
progress reported on plan to stop
erosion on skagit
Upriver erosion control progress was reported, a study of
the dike and drainage district problems was instituted, and a rather complete
summary of the 35 years of change on the Skagit river was reported by Captain
Forest Elwell, at the first meeting of the County Planning Commissions’ new
committee on the Skagit river and water resources, held in the Mt. Vernon
Junior college last Monday evening, September 27. . . . Captain Forest
Elwell, long time Skagit river pilot,
outlined 35 years of change on the river from Marblemount to the mouth.
The gradual elimination of more than a dozen ox-bows including the big
Sorenson Bend and Sterling Bend has reduced the rivers length by 25 miles,
Captain Elwell estimated. He pointed out that the river has been
increased in velocity by the shortening process until increased silt in the
lower reaches of the river is steadily reducing the rivers capacity between
already restricted dikes. The present diking system is far from
adequate, competent engineers have stated. In Captain Elwell’s opinion
the Avon cut-off will relieve the flood
problem on the flats but he raised the question, “For how long.”
Skagit River Increasing in Velocity
The “shortening” of the Skagit River
deserves further discussion. While Captian Elwell is correct that some
“oxbows” have disappeared, others have formed. In October 1919 the
Corps of Engineers wrote “The Skagit River is ordinarily navigable from its
mouth to Concrete, a distance of 58 miles, and at times of high water 38
miles higher.” (Source: J. A. Woodruff, Lt. Col. USACOE, Report dtd
10/10/19). In 1925 the Corps wrote, “Baker
River junction with the Skagit 58
miles above Skagit mouth.” Today’s GIS
maps show Baker
River junction at RM
56.5. 1.5 miles shorter, not 25 miles.
Upper River Erosion
Work Hoped For Yet This Fall
Final soundings were taken yesterday afternoon preparatory
to the proposed driving of piling dolphins on the upper Skagit
river in an effort to slow down flood currents and curtail erosion, County
Engineer H.O. Walberg reported. The engineer hopes to set rows of
dolphins extending outward from the river banks at erosion points before the
late fall and early winter high water season sets in. . . .
The new approach to the erosion project fits in with
future plans for river bank protection, Walberg said. Use of dolphins
to catch debris and bring about deposit of silt was first tried in the Avon diking district nearly 34 years ago. Today,
he said, the river has completely filled in a bad wash that occurred in 1909.
New approach to flood control. Use of dolphins to
catch flood debris and deposit silt.
Dolphins first used in Avon
after 1909 flood.
flood control council urges
warning plan – valley in danger from floods last winter; cold prevents
Flood possibilities in the Skagit valley last winter were
the worst on record, it was learned by the Skagit county delegates attending
the Puget Sound flood control meeting in Chehalis last Saturday, October
9. The snows were the deepest on record, the rains had saturated the
lowlands and the upstream dams were full. The only thing that saved the
valley was the fact that the temperature remained very low throughout the
winter and stayed low for most of the summer. Such a threat, little
known by the average citizen, lead the flood control council to recommend
that Skagit county immediately take steps to set up a flood warning system.
Flood Early Warning System
Skagit County dodged a bullet.
Skagit County needs a flood early warning
skagit flood control work starts
soon – county gives $5,000.00 – warning system is
With engineering studies nearing completion, piling
purchased, and a $5,000 appropriation from the county commissioners, flood
control work in the Utopia area will be started soon…Captain Forest Elwell of
the Parker Tugboat company, reported that he had dynamited a log jam on the
Wolfe place which should release the erosion both above and below the
jam. . . . Plans for the flood warning system which the U.S. weather bureau, Seattle, has offered to set up were
described and the committee learned that no local expense will be
involved. The committee’s job will be to find cooperative and competent
persons in the upper Sauk, Suiattle, Cascade and Baker River
areas to report rainfall and river conditions daily during a potential flood
period. . . . A local agency interested and willing to act as the
discriminating body when a warning should be made over the Skagit flats that
a flood is on its way must be found also and three have been suggested:
county engineers office, the SCS or the State Department of Forestry with
offices in Sedro-Woolley.
Flood Early Warning System
Log jam in the Utopia area dynamited.
Residents on Sauk, Suiattle, Cascade and Baker Rivers
were to be “river watchers”.
crew of men now at work on
revetment – building big mat for diverting current near skiyou
On the Reese place the Skagit has been gouging a progressively
deeper U-shaped hole, extending in length about 800 feet above the entrance
to Skiyou slough, a channel which could bypass the Skagit’s
flow should active erosion eat away the protecting bank. It is the plan
to divert the river’s attack by building out a floating, interlaced mat of
large trees, interlaced mat of large trees, complete with branches.
These hemlock, firs, maple and alders now are being dragged to the bank area
and being jostled and lashed into position with cables anchored to a series
of buried “deadmen” inland. Out in front a 1,000 foot stretch of cable,
to which a tree raft will be anchored, will straighten out the bank line and
act as the main baffle mat. This extended mat is intended to slow down
the current, catch debris and gradually build up a thick wall to keep
swirling flood waters away from the bank.
Interesting Bank Erosion Project
The description of this project is entirely different then
what they did at Sterling and Burlington. Sounds
kind of like an artificial log jam against the river bank.
river crew’s work proves o.k. in
flood – new rock and tree mat prevents damage at skiyou slough
Mud spattered battalions of the county engineer’s office
are flushed with their first victory in the major battle against the Skagit
river, which last week rolled back her banks and went on a brief but record
flood rampage. . . . Last Friday’s torrential rains precipitated
premature test of this engineering theory, which has been regarded with
skepticism by some side-line “engineers.” The Skagit
started climbing a foot an hour and finally topped her banks. Although
overflow water entered Skiyou slough, the bank did not gouge out.
Witnesses who watched the river’s rise and saw the debris and logs bob by,
claim that the brush mat was instrumental in deflecting the river enough to
protect the bank at the slough entrance. Rock in place withstood the
current that did hit the bank. Since neither the mat or rock work was
completed, the success is noteworthy.
DECEMBER 3, 1943 FLOOD
USGS Concrete 65,200 cfs (28.4).
Record flood rampage? Flood was barely over flood
sportsmen protest closing
skagit river for
Effective April 1 and through the period ending May 27,
the Skagit river will be closed its entire length from the government marker
on saltwater, to the Canadian border to all sport fishing, according to the
new game laws as issued by the State Game Commission. This announcement comes
as a blow to the fisherman of the entire state. Hardest hit, are the
residents of Skagit county who have fished the river the year around since
white men first settled in the valley. With gasoline rationing pared down to
two gallons per week, residents living in the towns and on the farms along
the banks of the Skagit will now have to giver up their “backyard” fishing
and burn their precious gasoline on trips to some lake in the adjacent area
on and after April 2. . . . Oddly enough effective May 1,
commercial fishermen will be permitted to pursue their fishing with gill nets
in the waters of the Skagit river from the
junction of the north and south forks to saltwater.
Skagit Closed To Sports Fishing
Before this time Skagit
was open year round.
Gasoline was rationed to citizens at the rate of two
gallons per week.
Commercial fisherman were allowed to put nets in river
from North & South Fork confluence to Puget Sound.
Grocery Store Ad
Salmon or Halibut 39 cents per
Vote Defeats Skagit Plea
State Council Declines to Back Reopening of River in
Opposition of Seattle
anglers swung the Washington Sports Council against supporting the
newly-formed Skagit Sportsmen’s association demand for keeping the Skagit River
open to fishing during the next two months, Acting President Floyd McKeon
reported following his return from the Council’s weekend session at Yakima.
12 members of the council were from Seattle
and 1 was from Everett.
Editorial – Closing Skagit
The commission’s closure order may have been ill-advised,
or at least unnecessary in itself; certainly, the manner of its making was
ill-advised and most unfair. . . . And little was said or heard
of the decision to close the river for two months until the commission issued
its 1944 season regulations in printed form a short time ago. Skagit County fishermen feel they should have
had something to say about what was done to their river fishing
grounds. They feel, too, that, granted the river’s fish population does
need some attention; there are factors other than the take of the anglers
that may be diminishing the steelhead runs. Why doesn’t the game
commission do something about the seal herds that are reported to be invading
the delta in increasing numbers—they’re voracious when it comes to fish—and
why doesn’t the commission take some steps toward wiping out some of the
birds that continually prey on small fish up and down the river? Not to
mention a stronger fish hatching and planting program? These are some
of the questions Skagit fishermen are
asking. . . . The game department should have to answer more
fully than just to say, “We have set a precedent for closing streams that
have flipper or cut-throat runs at this time of year.”
Steelhead runs diminishing. Is this the beginning of
the impacts of the dams?
Editor blames seals and birds.
Game Dept. allegedly was protecting cut-throat runs.
game protector splane cites reasons
for skagit closing
So much interest and open condemnation of the state game
department was expressed by sportsmen and others, following the recent
announcement of the closing of the Skagit for its entire length to all sport
fishing, from the first of April to the twenty-eighth of May that it seemed
advisable to contact Game Protector Morris Splane and learn the game
department’s side of the story. . . . Splane gave the following
reasons for the closing of the Skagit . . .
“…Fundamentally it was for the management of the steelhead and cutthroat in
the costal waters, and for their protection during two periods or stages in
their life’s history. We have assembled considerable data which indicates
that the majority of young steelhead go to salt water when the approximately
two years of age. At this time many of them, if not most of them, are legal
sized fish. Their migration from fresh to salt water extends over a period of
several months. It is heaviest from about the first of April to the middle of
May. It has been found that these fish may be readily taken at this time and
it follows that if the catch of these immature fish is large, the numbers of
returning adults is proportionately reduced. Therefore, in order to avoid
depletion from this cause, we find that it is necessary to have a closed
period so as to guarantee a sufficiently large escapement. In some of the
streams, such as the Skagit, returning adult
steelhead will ascend the stream during every month of the year. The winter
run fish reach the peak of their run from February to April. . .
. Also remember that steelhead are primarily a four year fish- that is,
they reach maturity at the age of four years. …”
Skagit Closed to Sports Fishermen.
Protection of steelhead and cutthroat primary reason for
closing river from April 1 to May 28th.
Steelhead take 4 years to reach maturity.
New Dam 23 Stories High
Working together to promote their Puget Sound-Cascade
region, members of Puget Sound Utilities Council point to this 23-stories high
Skagit River Gorge dam now under construction. Costing nearly 15
million dollars, it will add 43,000 kilowatts to present output of Seattle
City Light’s Gorge powerhouse. It will be 670 feet wide, 285 feet
high. New Gorge high dam is part of 700 million dollar program of
Council members to boost power supply to meet regions coming growth, as
outlined in a Council brochure.
skipper relates his adventures on skagit
For forty years a tugboat skipper on the boisterous Skagit
river, Captain F. M. Elwell drew upon his rich background of experiences to
give Rotarians, on March 30, a colorful flashback to the county’s pioneer
days, when Sauk was the upriver terminus for daily tugboat service between it
. . . Tug boating on the Skagit began
when log towing was started, after the daily freight run between Seattle and
Sauk ended. Sauk, jumping off place for pack string trains to the upper
valley’s mining centers, was then a busy terminal, boasting a newspaper, The
Sauk Journal. . . . The Skagit
has changed considerably during Elwells’ tug boating career. Sternwheelers
formerly required three hours to make the run from Mount Vernon to Sedro-Woolley. Present day
tugs can make the trip in an hour and a half, because of the shortened
distances caused by the river straightening out ox bow bends, principally at Sterling. Other river
stretches where channel changes have cut out ox bows are at Lyman, where
elimination of three bends reduced nine miles of water to three, and between
Marblemount and Rockport, where twelve miles have been dropped to four.
. . . Upper river dams have little to do with flood control on the Skagit, according to Elwell. A bad flood year can occur
again if winter conditions are right, such as heavy snowfall with continued
rains or a thawing Chinook. If such a flood should occur, the Skagit flats are in for trouble because the present
channel of the South Fork is silted up to the level of the surrounding land.
An inadequate dike system, not designed for a prolonged flood, is the only
bulwark against flood waters and would not last long. The South Fork should
be dredged or a head opened up to allow water to scour out some of the silt,
according to Elwell.
Skagit River Changed Over Time
Sternwheelers used to take 3 hours from Mt. Vernon
to Sedro-Woolley. Now only takes 1.5 hours due to Sterling
3 ox bows eliminated at Lyman. Reduced river by 6
miles. Between Marblemount and Rockport 12 miles reduced to 4.
“Upper river dams have little to do with flood
“An inadequate dike system, not designed for a prolonged
flood, is the only bulwark against flood waters and would not last long.”
(See CT article 9/30/43 for related story.)
skagit soil district helps farmers
in drainage plans
Supervisors of the Skagit Soil Conservation District this
week plan to “make the dirt fly” on 3750 lineal feet of open ditch
construction on the Curt Wiles place, on the East Fork of Nookachamps Creek.
Jack Turner, of Bow, has been engaged to complete the project with his power
shovel. The drainage job is one of several in progress under the sponsorship
and technical guidance of the Skagit District. . . . East Fork of
Nookachamps creek is well known to local people because of the aggravated
drainage problem present. Logs coming down stream during earlier logging days
clogged up the stream and became compacted and then silted, until today the
stream bed runs about three feet above the level of the surrounding
territory. The long time drainage program to be worked out by the Skagit Soil
Conservation District not only will benefit individual farmers and the
general area, but also should help restore fish populations in this
SCS Helps Nookachamps Farmers
Nookachamps Creek became silted in and no longer carried
water in channel. Project said to help fish.
faber dams as flood control means studied
Means to secure better flood
control protection from uncertain waters of the Skagit
River, a problem which has bothered
Skagit county residents since the first settlers arrived, were again thoroughly
considered at the June meeting of the Skagit County Planning council held at
the Skagit county courthouse Monday
night. … The three plans which received the most
1. The proposed Avon by-pass which would carry
off surplus flood water from the Skagit River, from either a point north of
Avon or from a point near the southeast corner of the Burlington City limits;
2. The proposed Sauk River Dam;
3. The proposed Faber Dam.
… Means of financing any of the proposals
proved another troublesome problem. A
strictly flood control dam was deemed non-feasible although a multi-purpose
dam with poser interests assisting in construction costs was felt possible.
Sauk Dam, Faber Dam, Avon By-Pass
Flooding a problem since first
settlers arrived. Financing any of the
proposed solutions was and is just as big of a problem.
warned against practice harmful to fish
A warning was issued yesterday
to logging companies throughout the state by Fred J. Foster, Director of
Fisheries, against unauthorized removal of gravel from stream beds and other
practices by some of the operators that seriously affect the natural habitat
and passage of migratory fish. … In commenting upon the warning to loggers
Foster said, “Many of the state’s best salmon producing streams have been
rendered impotent by practices that completely blocked the passage of
spawning fish. Others have been seriously affected by gouging out valuable
spawning beds for the purpose of securing gravel for road construction, while
some have actually been completely diverted in order to use the stream bed
for a truck road. This is especially destructive during the time the fish are
spawning and when the eggs are in the gravels.
Logging hurting fish runs by
removing gravel from streams or otherwise blocking fish passageways.
$25,000 damage caused by flood -- northern state
hospital water reservoir washed out when hanson creek runs wild; prairie
family escapes death; home ruined
Heavy damage to the Northern state hospital’s intake
reservoir dams on Hanson creek near the hospital was caused last Sunday when
a log jam in a ravine above the dams was broken up by flood waters and the
logs sent smashing with destructive force against the concrete
structures. Cost of repair of the dams will approximate $25,000,
hospital authorities stated. . . . Torrential rains last week
near the headwaters of Hanson creek swelled the stream to unprecedented flood
stage and swept the log jam downstream, from where it had been lodged for
several years in the ravine. The logs were the accumulation of
abandoned cuttings from a logging operation in the nearby hills several years
ago and residents of that vicinity estimated that there were perhaps a
thousand logs packed in the ravine, many of them of great size. Mr. and
Mrs. G. H. Gaston, who reside about two miles below the dam, and near Hanson
creek, narrowly escaped death when the huge mass of logs crashed through
their premises riding a six-foot wall of swirling water. Giant logs
smashed against the Gaston residence, carrying away the entire outer wall of
a bedroom and doing an estimated $1,000 property damage. . . .
About 100 yards distant, across Hanson creek from the Gaston residence, a
two-acre field seeded to clover was ruined by the flood. . . . A
county bridge across Hanson creek, joining the Flaherty road with the old “C.
C. C.” road, and located between the Gaston and Hill residences, was
destroyed by the deluge of logs and rushing water and the creek bed at this
point was filled in to a depth of five feet with muck and sand. . .
. The Samish river was at its highest peak in history last week and
flood waters covered hundreds of acres of farm land, but without causing
Hanson Creek Flooding
Heavy rains cause log jam from logging operation to break
loose and damaged intake reservoir dams on Creek.
Resulting landslide and flood almost killed local farming
family living along Hanson Creek.
Bridge over Hanson Creek destroyed.
Samish River at highest peak in history.
skagit river poses
threat in lyman area -- great northern roadbed endangered; farms damaged
Unless corrective steps are taken, Skagit
river eventually may change its course at a point near Lyman and flow
directly into Minkler lake, located about four miles east of
Sedro-Woolley. That is the opinion of river experts who have studied
of Skagit river at this point for
years. Natural outlet of an overflow from Minkler lake would be along a
course of such an overflow, according to engineering surveys. . .
. Actual damage near Lyman so far is the destruction of about 20 acres
of valuable farm land washed out by the encroaching river. . . .
Potential danger of the situation may be summed up in the threat to rich
valley land lying between Minkler
Sedro-Woolley. In less than two years the river channel, to a narrow
land passage between the two being now within 25 feet of Great Northern
roadbed. . . . The river is cutting a new channel to the north
about one-eighth mile west of Lyman and evidence of this northward trend in
general is borne out by the fact that all sloughs north of the river in this
area are filling to overflow point, while those south of the river are drying
up, according to Fred Hagen, local fisherman and guide. Hagen has spent a number
of years as a fisherman on the river and is well acquainted with the
surrounding territory. . . . At Minkler lake, surface water
already is flowing between the lake at Skagit
river’s new course and local residents expressed the belief that a confluence
of the two will result before very long unless something is done. There
is relatively little natural earth barrier separating the two at present,
they pointed out. Should this barrier be eliminated, the river would
include Minkler lake in its new course and egress from the lake would be down
the valley towards Sedro-Woolley it was reminded. County
Commissioner E.C. Carr stated this
week that he does not consider the Minkler lake situation “particularly
alarming” at this time, but that rapid changes are possible if the river
should get out of hand at Ross
Island point, below
Skagit Could Change Course Into Minkler Lake
Natural course of Skagit used to be through Minkler Lake
when river used to flow into the Samish
River cutting new channel one-eighth mile west of Lyman.
Surface water already flowing between the lake and Skagit River new course. Would allow Skagit to flow towards Sedro-Woolley.
Warning System Arranged By Weather Bureau
Creation of flood warning system for the entire Skagit valley with emergency
service to spread the alarm in event of dangerous conditions was announced
today to Attorney A. H. Ward of Sedro-Woolley, chairman of the water
resources committee of the Skagit county
planning commission. The warning system will be sponsored jointly by the United States weather bureau and Skagit county commissioners with various county
officials, public and private agencies and individuals cooperating. It
involves daily rainfall, snow and river level reports from various
cooperators located at 10 strategic points throughout the Skagit
basin. . . . As the project
develops and forecasts are based on information obtainable in the upper
reaches of the Skagit, it will be possible
to utilize power dams to aid in controlling the river. Weather bureau officials pointed out that by
holding the crest of an upper Skagit flood
at Ross dam for only three hours might permit a Sauk river crest to pass
harmlessly whereas the combined crest of both streams might result in great
losses to farmers and other residents of the valley.
Flood Early Warning System
Value in storage behind dams.
Rockport Group Requests Better Ferrying Service
Presenting a petition for
adequate ferry service on the river at Rockport, citizens met with the county
commissioners Wednesday in the commissioners’ chambers. The petition, with 269 signatures,
requested that each ferry operator be paid at least $210 a month; that a
relief operator be employed for rush hours, that proper approaches to the
ferry be constructed and that the ferry be kept pumped out at all times and
that a capable ferryman be engaged.
Commissioners asked for time to take the matter under consideration.
Rockport residents wanted better
People of the Rockport community
are petitioning the commissioners for better ferry service or those who must
cross the river. The county engineer
told their representatives that they should have had a bridge long ago but
for war time conditions.
Supported Rockport residents who
wanted better ferry service.
Large Fish Hatchery Will Be Situated Near
Announcement was made last week that land had been
purchased near Marblemount for the site of the Skagit Fish Hatchery, for
which $150,000 in funds was appropriated at the last legislature. The state fisheries, department hopes to
have the new Skagit county salmon hatchery in operation within the next year,
staff chiefs and members of the state legislature’s joint interim committee
on fisheries announced.
New salmon hatchery proposed.
Skagit-Samish Flood Control Survey Planned
Serious erosion at points along the Skagit, and flood
danger on the Samish have imperiled farms throughout the district, and
agriculturists hope that such conditions can be remedied before greater
damage can occur. While the rapid erosion which was washing away
farmland at Utopia has been lessened, 200 feet of land bordering the river
near the mouth of Nookachamps creek have eroded, changing the course of the
river and facilitating further erosion on raw banks. Lee Wright,
assistant county engineer, stated that “All along the Skagit
river, banks are dissolving and new channels opening up because of erosion.
Between Sedro-Woolley and Lyman, where flows have been routed from old
courses and in some places have begun working back, is one of the most
critical spots along the river.” . . . Problems on both the
Skagit and the Samish are represented on a map now being drawn up, which will
with the flood and erosion districts. Last year the Skagit
rose high enough in the Nookachamps area to inundate both grazing and
farmlands. Previous surveys of the Utopia-Skiyou area have advanced the
possibility of re-routing the river through Dead Man’s slough, thus reducing
erosion in the present channel. However, as yet no plans have been
formulated for dealing with the situation in the Lyman area.
More Erosion Problems
200 feet near Nookachamps Creek eroded into river.
“All along river banks eroding.”
Skagit eventually eroded back into Deadman’s Slough and is now main channel.
County Engineers Begin
Diagrammatic Sketch For River Survey
County engineers this week have begun a diagrammatic
sketch of the Skagit and Samish River watersheds preparatory to submitting the
drawing to Congressman Henry Jackson and a group of United States engineers who will
be in this district soon investigating flood control needs locally. . . .
During months of high run off the Nooksack overflows into the Samish
causing an unnecessary rise of that river’s level, and creating additional
flood hazards south in Skagit county.
Plans for a dike on the division line of flat land are being
considered. . . . It was ascertained
by Walberg that glacial water came down through the Samish last winter,
possibly from the Nooksack overflow.
This is the first written record
obtained that the Nooksack used to flow into the Samish.
Problems of Skagit
River Discussed at Mt. Vernon Meeting
Problems of Skagit and Samish rivers were aired at a
public gathering called in Mount
Vernon Tuesday to better acquaint the office of Congressman
Henry T. Jackson and army engineer with the two rivers and the needs to be
met. . . . No definite program as to the future work on the two rivers was
presented, the purposes of the session being to obtain material and data on
the history of the two streams, the present problems, and the problems which
might arise in the future. . . . The lone government proposal for the
prevention of floods on Skagit river, adopted in 1936, is the Avon by-pass, which has been deemed impractical by
local residents inasmuch as it absorbs much valuable land and since it
necessitates expenditures of local funds estimated at between $1,000,000 and
$3,800,000. . . . “Interesting geological facts are that at
one time the Suiattle and lower Sauk rivers reached tide water through the Stillaguamish River
in Snohomish and that the upper six miles of the south fork of the Sauk River
was once the head of the south fork of the Stillaguamish.”
No definite proposal other than
By-Pass which was deemed impractical.
Sauk River used to flow into the Stillaguamish River.
Stressing the fact that Skagit river is this county’s most valuable resource
as well as most serious danger, W. A. McLean, chairman of the county planning
commission, spoke before the Monday evening meeting of the Burlington
Parent-Teaches’ association. . . . the Skagit
river as the county’s principal resource providing irrigation, electrical
energy, transportation, as well as commercial and sport fishing, deserved the
attention of the county planning bodies. With the gradual closing of
the south fork opens the possibility of a breakup in the north which would
completely flood the valley if the river is not controlled systematically,
warned McLean. Now under consideration
by the county commission is an emergency flood gate in the Allen-Fredonia
district and a main flood control project between Concrete and Sauk.
Skagit poses “serious danger.”
Planning Commission considering “main flood control
project between Concrete and Sauk.”
Storm Results In 2 Deaths; Lower Valleys
Although sunny skies averted threats of more serious storm
damage in this area today, two deaths were attributed indirectly to the
storm. Louis Betschart, 37, of route 1, Sedro-Woolley, died yesterday
afternoon following a heart attack which occurred when he and a companion, Ed
Selff, were attempting to rescue a skiff that had broken loose in the flood
waters of the Skagit river. Betschart,
while rowing a boat in the turbulent waters of the Skagit
near his home at Utopia, collapsed apparently from over-exertion.
Efforts to revise him with the aid of a resuscitator failed. The body
was removed to the Lemley mortuary. Lyle McNeil of Auburn
also was the victim of a fatal heart attack while he and a hunting companion
B. H. Yenter, route 1, Sedro-Woolley, were rowing a boat near the Chester
Leamer farm southwest of Mount
Vernon. The two men saw another boat in
difficulty and went to assist the occupants, Wilbur M. Snyder and R.E. Adams,
both of Seattle.
Whel McNeil attempted to reach for an oar in the other boat, he was stricken
and died immediately. . . . Nookachamps valley on route 4, Mount Vernon, is
reported to be flooded with many houses surrounded. Telephone
communications were out in that sector today. George Dynes’ Riverview
poultry farm was partly under water with chickens roosting on top of the
chicken houses. A number of the poultry were reported lost in the
flood, and attempts were being made to bring the others to safety. The Samish River flooded during the night, with
only trucks moving over the Chuckanut highway in the Allen area.
OCTOBER 26, 1945 FLOOD
USGS 102,000 cfs Concrete (34.0), 94,300 cfs Mt. Vernon
(30.25) Comparable to 1982 flood at Concrete and second flood of 1989
at Mt. Vernon.
2 men suffer heart attacks while rowing boat in flood
George Dynes poultry farm in Nookachamps flooded, chickens
Samish River flooded.
Rainfall at Diablo 8.7 In. Oct. 24-25
Extraordinary rainfall--a total of approximately 11 in.
--was recorded by the weather station at Diablo for the week ending October
27. October 24, with 6.49 inches of
precipitation and October 25th, with 2.21 in. were the worst
days. The water behind Ross Dam was
raised 18.5 feet to the maximum height possible with the present
construction. This impounded 25,660
acre feet of water and took the peak off the flood which descended on the Skagit valley from the drainage area below the dam.
Rainfall & Ross Dam
8.7 inches in 48 hours.
11 Inches of Rain Recorded In Week At Diablo
Extraordinary rainfall – a total of approximately 11
inches – was recorded by the weather station at Diablo for the week ending
October 27. Heaviest rainfall was recorded on October 24, with 6.49
inches of precipitation, and October 25, with 2.21 inches. . . .
Residents of Marblemount, Newhalem, Diablo and Ross Dam were marooned for
three days, while every available City Light man worked to get traffic lines
open. . . . the water in back of Ross Dam was raised 18.5 feet,
to the maximum possible with the present construction. This impounded
25,660 acre feet of water and took the peak off the flood which descended on
the Skagit valley from the drainage area
below the dam. Enough flood water was stopped by Ross Dam to cover
25,000 acres of land more than a foot deep, had it not been held back, said
City Light officials. Completion of the second step of the dam, now
under construction, will create an even more effective flood control, company
officials pointed out.
11 inches of Rain over 7 days at
6 inches in one day. 8.5 inches in two days.
Ross dam attributed to withholding 25,000 cfs. Completion of dam will
provide “even more flood control” local residents told by City Light.
This would have made 1945 flood event close to 1975 event had not storage
Ross Lake raised 18.5 feet.
Flood Warning System Set Up;
Creation of a flood warning system for the entire Skagit Valley with emergency service to
spread the alarm in event of dangerous conditions was announced Wednesday by
A.H. Ward of Sedro Woolley, chairman of the Water Resources committee of the
Skagit County Planning commission. The warning system will be sponsored
jointly by the U.S. Weather Bureau and Skagit County Commissioners, with
various county officials, public and private agencies and individuals cooperating.
It involves daily rainfall, snow and river level reports from various
cooperators located at ten strategic points throughout the Skagit
basin. These reports will be telephoned or telegraphed at 8 o’clock
each morning to the Seattle
office of the weather bureau and the information coordinated there.
Experienced personnel will then be able to compute river levels for several
hours in advance after having studied the previous action of the river from
accumulated data. . . . Whether flood warnings can be issued
accurately this winter is problematical since it has not yet been agreed at
what river stage a warning should be necessary. . . . Flood
warnings, when issued, probably will be of two types. One would be to
“advise” that conditions were such that a flood might be expected. The
other warning would be that a flood of a certain crest was on its way.
As the project develops and forecasts are based on information obtainable in
the upper reaches of the Skagit, it will be
possible to utilize power dams to aid in controlling the river. Weather
bureau officials pointed out that the holding of the crest of an upper Skagit flood at Ross dam for only three hours might
permit a Sauk river crest to pass harmlessly whereas the combined crest of
both streams would result in great losses to farmers and other residents of
FLOOD EARLY WARNING SYSTEM
Utilized telephones, telegraphs, sheriff deputies,
firefighters, and milk truck drivers to “spread the word”.
“. . . it will be possible to utilize power dams to aid in
controlling the river.” Holding crest behind Ross for 3 hours “might”
permit Sauk River crest to pass harmlessly.
Skagit Valley To Have
Flood Warning Soon
Creation of a flood warning system for the entire Skagit
valley with emergency service to spread the alarm in event of dangerous
conditions was announced today by Attorney A.H. Ward of Sedro-Woolley,
chairman of the water resources committee of the Skagit
county planning commission. . . . As the project develops and forecasts are
based on information obtainable in the upper reaches of the Skagit,
it will be possible to utilize power dams to aid in controlling the
river. Weather bureau officials
pointed out that by holding the crest of an upper Skagit
flood at Ross dam for only three hours might permit a Sauk river crest to
pass harmlessly whereas the combined crest of both streams might result in
great losses to farmers and other residents of the valley.
Flood Early Warning System
So much for the weather bureau
knowing what they were talking about.
(3 hrs?) It would be
interesting to someday follow up and see why this system was not put into
place as it clearly was not used as late as 1975. Later articles/documents suggest that a
much scaled down version of this plan was implemented and then canceled.
new system to warn valleyites of floods -- reports
of water levels at 10 strategic points to be taken daily; public to be
Creation of a flood warning system for the entire Skagit valley with emergency service to spread the
alarm in event of dangerous conditions was announced recently by Attorney A.
H. Ward of Sedro-Woolley, chairman of the Water Resources Committee of the
Skagit County Planning Commission.
Flood Early Warning System
Individuals were going to be hired to monitor river at
strategic locations and they would phone in river levels.
skagit flood problem
considered at meet
Considering flood problems in the
Skagit and Puyallup River basins, the Puget Sound Flood Control Council
met for its 13th annual meeting Monday at the Seattle Chamber of
Commerce with H. O. Walberg; Skagit county
engineer, presiding as president of the council, and L. J. Wright, vice
president from this county.
A brief filed by Mr. Wright detailed the existing trouble along the Samish River
in itself and by reason of overflow from the Skagit. Col. C. P. Hardy of the U.S. Army
Engineers’ office disclosed that his office is now making a review of the
Skagit river report which recommended the construction of the Avon by-pass and indicated that a conclusion more
favorable to the county may be reached during 1946.
problems needed to be addressed separately.
bids on new fish hatchery to open in april;
building to be completed end of next year
Bids will be open the first of April for the construction
of the new state game department fish hatchery to be located above
Marblemount, Milo Moore, state director of fisheries stated at a meeting of
the Sedro-Woolley Wildcat Steelhead club at the American Legion hall here
last Friday evening, which was attended by state director of game Don Clarke
and other officials. The new, modern hatchery for which land has
already been purchased and money appropriated, will be completed by the end
of next year, Moore
said. An appropriation of $129,000, plus an additional grant of
$118,000 recently approved by Governor Wallgren, will assure Skagit county and the northwest one of the finest
salmon hatcheries possible, it was pointed out. The new plant will have
forty 20X80 ft. rearing ponds capable of holding 25,000 salmon fry at the
start of operation. When completed the hatchery will be capable of
liberating 75,000 fish a year of an average length of five inches.
New Fish Hatchery In Marblemount
$247,000 grant for construction. Would be capable of
producing 75,000 5 inch fish per year.
Flood Council Has Talks On Skagit Basin
H.O. Walberg, president, and L.J. Wright, vice-president,
County when the 13th
annual meeting of the Puget Sound Flood Control Council was held December 1
at the Seattle Chamber of Commerce. . . . Col. Hardy disclosed
that his office is now making a review of the Skagit river report which
recommended the construction of the Avon bypass, and indicated that a
conclusion more favorable to the county may be reached during 1945.
Corps Reevaluating Avon By-Pass
Dams Menace Salmon Runs
Stating that new proposals for dams in state waters are
threatening the very existence of Washington’s
salmon runs, Milo Moore, state director of fisheries, has announced creation
of a new division of his department to determine the requirements of fish
life at these new developments. . . . Vigorous planning and a
sensible distribution of available water supplies are the only means of
providing a balanced state economy, said Moore in announcing plans for the new
Washington Fisheries Worried About Dam
Impacts on Fish
Dams threaten the existence of Salmon runs.
hatchery is a product of experiments and scientific knowledge
The hatchery which is intended as a rearing station, from
which the Skagit, Nooksack, Stillaguamish
Rivers and their
tributaries will be stocked, will operate 40 concrete rearing pounds 80 feet
long and 20 feet wide. . . . Jordan Creek,
a cool mountain stream, will furnish the main water supply which will be
supplemented by the almost constant temperature spring water of Clark
Creek. . . . Each rearing pond will begin the season with the
introduction of 150,000 young salmon. . . . The overall capacity
of the station will include more than four million fish reared for a period
of three months or more, and in addition approximately a million and a half
will be retained and released as yearlings. . . . The Skagit hatchery has evolved as a product of the
experiments and scientific knowledge gained by the State Department of
Fisheries through years of experience. Actual construction is slated to
begin in the spring of 1946, and the entire project will cost approximately
Overall capacity of hatchery would be 4,000,000 fish per year
raised for 3 months, plus 1,500,000 retained and released when they are one
Construction to begin in Spring of 1946.
marblemount hatchery plans are revealed
The new hatchery will be a rearing station
from which the Skagit, Nooksack, and
Stillaguamish rivers will be kept stocked.
The new station will operate forty concrete rearing ponds 80 feet long
and 20 feet wide. Also there will be
constructed a hatchery building 172x46 feet, which will be of concrete with a
high pitch shake roof. Each rearing pond will begin the season
with 150,000 young salmon fingerlings.
As planting progresses this figure will be cut to 40,000 within three
months. The remainder of the fish in
the ponds will be kept for a rearing period of one year. The total capacity of the hatchery will be
more than four million fish reared for a period of three months or more and
approximately a million and a half will be retained and released as
Marblemount fish hatchery to
supply 4 million fish reared for a period of three months or more and another
1.5 million will be released as yearlings to Skagit, Nooksack and Stillaguamish Rivers.
biologist williams assigned here to study and
survey skagit fish runs
In a move by the state game department to make close hand
observations and studies of fish runs in the Skagit
river and its tributaries, Biologist Douglas Williams has been assigned to
Sedro-Woolley, where he will conduct extensive work for the next several
years. The location of a biologist here for the sole purpose of studying the
migratory runs of fish, especially in steelhead, in the Skagit, comes as a
result of the game department’s decision to send biologists into the field
where they can make first-hand observations and obtain data necessary for the
perpetuation and eventual increasing of the fish runs. . . . The
location of a biologist in this area is only logical, he said, as the Skagit has probably the largest run of steelhead and
migratory fish in the state.
Skagit Fish Runs To Be Studied
Study was to be conducted over several years. Should
contact Fisheries Dept. and determine what happened to results of study.
Skagit has largest run of Steelhead in
skagit river control
vital government official states – d. a. williams, water conservation head, notes
damage during inspection trips; says maintenance program is needed
A temporary maintenance program for the Skagit river, to
prevent soil erosion, and a really comprehensive flood control problem, with
the co-operation of the federal government, is badly needed, according to D.
A. Williams, chief of the water conservation division of the U.S. soil conservation office in Portland. He was here
last week with Paul Dickey, head of the local soil conservation office, on an
inspection tour of the Skagit river. .
. . Now the department of agriculture has recognized that full
attention to the use of the water of an area is as necessary as the best use
of the soil, in the work of this division with individual farmers and farm
groups. Williams said that much of the revetment work done on the Skagit
river was under the WPA appropriation, has been of much help in controlling
soil erosion, but the failure of the county to maintain some of this work has
prevented it from being as much help as it might have been. There are now a
good many danger spots in the river, from Utopia down, in which bank erosion
is very severe. The October and November high water aggravated this
condition, he said. . . . “The proper control of the Skagit river, both from bank erosion and from a flood
danger point of view, is a big job and will involve the best of land-owners
of the district and the co-operation of the county, state, and federal
government. . . . Ultimately the program to control the situation
must involve reforestation of badly denuded areas. This is more evident this
year. A preventative maintenance program, with the removal of the worst
trouble spots before they get serious, should be part of a far-sighted
program and would save a lot of expense later on. There should be a
maintenance crew working along the river at all times to accomplish this. The
proposed Avon cutoff might be one feature of
the long range plan, but this would not effect the stream bank above the site
of the proposed cutoff. Engineers are now studying storage opportunities on
the upper Skagit. . . . No
accurate survey of the channel above Mt.
Vernon is available. A permanent
maintenance program is needed. By attending to a lot of little things now the
big program which must be formed with federal, state and county co-operation
will be greatly helped. The tendency is to ignore danger conditions until a
serious flood occurs. Now is the time to act.”
Soil Erosion a Problem
Cooperation of Federal Government badly needed.
Reforestation key element in flood control.
Maintenance crew of erosion control projects should be
working at all times.
Avon By-Pass would not affect upstream property owners.
Long range program needed.
NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT!!
discuss skagit river
The upper Skagit was one of the principal subjects at the
meeting of the Skagit County Planning Council, held Monday evening at Mount Vernon. Proposed subjects for the upper valley were
the establishment of the federal forest experiment station, study of fish
development and recommendations on flood control and hydro-electric
power. The Water Resources and Fisheries sub-committee, Arthur
Ward of Sedro-Woolley, chairman, made the following recommendations to the
planning commission: Joint study by the Department of Fisheries and the Puget
Sound Power & Light Co., of the possibility of construction a fishway
over the Baker river dam; A joint study by the same parties of downstream
migration of fish over the dam to determine possible ways of reducing fish
loss; Joint study by the department and City Light of means of stabilizing
flow from the power stations to reduce fish loss due to stranded fingerlings
and exposed eggs at low water.
These are all the same issues
that are being discussed today which must mean that for almost 60 years the
dams were killing fish.
effort made to lessen flood
threat – control of dam overflow asked by county officials
In an effort to lessen the possibility
of a major flood in Skagit county due to the record amount of snowfall now in
the Cascades, the board of county commissioners and the Skagit County
Planning council this week contacted by letter, heads of both the Seattle
City Light and the Puget Sound Power and Light companies in a request that
these concerns co-operate in regulating the flow of excess water over their
respective dams on the Skagit and Baker rivers, and making more storage space
available during the peak flow. Following is a copy of the letter written to
Gene Hoffman, superintendent of City Light, and Frank McLaughlin, president
of Puget Sound Power and Light, and signed by W. A. McLean, chairman of the
planning council and James T. Ovenell, chairman of the board of commissioners:
The board of county commissioners and the Skagit County
Planning council have requested that this letter be written in an effort to
gain your help in solving a flood control problem. . . . We wonder
if, through the cooperation of City Light and Puget Sound Power and Light it
might be possible to avert potential disaster. It is our understanding that
the existing dams on the Skagit, if proper
regulation of water flow be had, can serve as an important agency toward
preventing a flood. We understand also that as a perquisite to the grant of
the right to place dams, the federal commission requires that the upper
reaches of such dams be made to assist in flood control. . .
. Those of us who have lived here all our lives know that the diking
assistance can handle all but the last few feet of water. . . .
We realize that the problem of City Light and Puget Sound Power and Light is
to be sure that they have abundant water at all times. With the present
snowfall there can be no doubt that sufficient water will be available. The
difficulty is there will probably be far too much water. Would it not be
possible, through full co-operation and intelligent regulation, for the
storage levels to be maintained near the minimum requirement until the excess
of melting snow comes through warm winds or warm weather, and when that does
start so regulate the flow as to allow escape during its maximum periods. We
appreciate the fact that the water that comes through the Skagit,
as far up as the City Dam, is only 35% of the entire flow that reached the
lower valley. We do feel, however, that there is sufficient margin of
regulation to control the quantity of water that will prove dangerous at the
peak flood time. . . . We cannot believe that a solution is
impossible. This danger is acute; this large amount of snowfall is bound to
come off during the next 90 days. If sufficient storage can be made
available, it does seem that disaster might be averted. We ask you for your
help and co-operation.
Seattle City Light Requested To Assist in
Record snowfall stirred flood concerns.
Commissioners recognized important role dams can play in
Commissioners requested storage levels to be maintained
near minimum requirement until after the snow melted.
state fisheries against skagit
dam at faber
Strong opposition to the
proposed Faber dam on the Skagit River can be found elsewhere than in the upper Skagit valley, we find.
At a Kiwanis club meeting in Mount Vernon
Monday afternoon, State Senator Barney Jackson, public relations officer of
the state department of fisheries, voiced his opinion that such a dam would
seriously jeopardize the entire Skagit river
basin’s $1,185,500 commercial fishing industry, while still remaining an
ineffective solution to the flood control problem. In his talk he said that the Faber dam, if
constructed, will so diminish the Skagit
river in fisheries importance that it will no longer rank as a contributor to
the wealth of the state. At present
the river is second in importance to the Columbia river, and the new
Marblemount hatchery and other work planned for the future will raise it’s
value over a million and a half dollars.
At present the Skagit river contributes 48 percent of the commercial
Chinook salmon fishing industry of the Puget Sound
area. Along with this there is the
sport fishing that brings many dollars to this county because of the river.
Faber Dam/Fish Issue
Proposed dam would have
jeopardized entire Skagit
commercial fishing industry. 48% of
commercial Chinook salmon industry depended on the Skagit.
mcleod points out threat of dams to fishing at
“You can kiss steelhead runs in the Skagit
and sockeye runs at the Hope island goodbye if the army engineers go through
with their plans of constructing a dam at Faber’s ferry.” Those were the
words of Ken McLeod, well-known Seattle
sportsman and writer who addressed a large gathering of sportsmen at the
annual banquet of the Wildcat Steelhead club held here Thursday evening at
the city hall. Faber Ferry on the Skagit
river has already been surveyed by the army engineers as a site for a flood
control dam. . . . The commercial and sport fishing value of over
a million dollars annually as set by the department of fisheries, hardly
scratched the surface, the speaker asserted. Taking into consideration the
money spent by out-of-county fishermen who pay for meals, lodging, guides and
sporting goods here, this figure comes close to 38 million, he said.
Dams Threaten Fish Runs
Dam at Faber site would destroy steelhead runs.
Speaker valued sports fishing on the Skagit
at 38 million dollars.
approve higher dam at ruby creek project
The City of Seattle this week
gave approval of a third step in construction of Ross Dam at the head of
Diablo Lake, a step that will raise the completed height to 1,620 feet by
adding 70 feet to the height of the dam as now planned.
Approval given to raise to
present day height.
log raft on nookachamps
It’s been forty years since log rafts were towed down
Nookachamps creek, but the scene was re-enacted recently when Otto and Ruben
(Tuffy) Boyd of Clear Lake brought out four rafts at different intervals
through the narrow waters of that stream. These pictures, supplied through
the courtesy of Art Ward of Sedro-Woolley, show (upper) Otto Boyd astride one
of the rafts of white fir, spruce and cottonwood taken from the final stand
of timber near the Nookachamps, and (lower) a raft of logs goes through one
of the narrow passages of the creek. Believe it or not, for most of the
voyages down the stream the Boyd brothers towed the rafts by rowboat with
outboard motor attached. Measurements of a highway bridge on the way had to
be taken before the rafts could safely negotiate under it. Near the mouth of
the Nookachamps a towboat was brought in to finish the towing job to the
booming area near LaConner. The logs were shipped to the Morris Mill company
Logs Floated to Market Down
ferry at rockport sinks with cars
Two cars and a
truck – and their occupants took a ducking in the cold Skagit
river at Rockport yesterday when the Rockport ferry swamped in crossing
against the high water and sank to the river bottom. Water started coming over the ferry deck
and managed to fill the scow before it could be stopped. The ferry sank while passengers in the
cars’ climbed to the roofs of their vehicles.
All received a thorough soaking before rescuers arrived to take them
off. The ferry was hauled ashore and
pumped out and is now operating again – but cautiously.
Rockport Ferry Accident
ferry accident yesterday again brings to the front the need for bridges
across the Skagit
River. Perhaps it will be necessary to drown a few
citizens before the county commissioners decide to do something besides dole
out maintenance for a ferry system that is as antiquated as it is unhandy and
dangerous. So far they have
successfully used two wars as excuse for not building our needed bridges,
World War I and World War II. Make
sure the candidates for commissioner this fall understand that we want action
before World War III.
Rockport Ferry Accident
flood control action asked by committee
– present plans would not be effective until 1955, report shows
. . . In a letter to Congressman Jackson drawn up by
the Water Resources Committee of the Planning Council, of which A. H. Ward of
Sedro-Woolley is chairman, it was pointed out that the recent study of the
Skagit conducted by the U.S. Engineering Corps will not leave the Seattle
office until 1948 and will not be ready for congressional action until 1950.
Effective construction work along the river could not begin until 1955.
. . . The plan would call for study of the past habits of the Skagit
indicating the changes in its course between the period 1932 and 1946 and
working a master plan for easing the river into its most logical course and
holding it there with rock revetment. Costs would be worked out from local
funds and match state and federal funds.
Corps Study’s Move Slowly Through
Study would have looked at past habits of Skagit erosion
and work on master plan for holding Skagit
on a logical course.
farmland or fishing
The question will soon arise as to which is more
important, several acres of river Skagit valley
bottom land or a river full of fish for the sportsman and the commercial
fisherman. We are referring specifically to the unquestionable
possibility of one or more flood control dams that may be erected on the Skagit river. Surveys for such a dam at the Faber
ferry have already been taken and these water barriers have a habit of
popping up suddenly, especially in periods of unemployment. If such a
dam were to erected on the Skagit river it
would mean the saving of several acres of rich soil that is being washed away
by floods. However, on the other hand, it would in all probability mean
the eventual elimination of the great migratory runs of fish in the
river. Past experiences with river dams have proven that even with
so-called efficient fish ladders, they have in many cases completely
destroyed fish runs. Is the value of fish runs in the Skagit
more or less that the threatened farm land? In our estimation and that
of state game officials and sportsmen, the fishing value is by far greater. .
. . It doesn’t make sense to save a few acres of farm land at the expense of
one of our most important resources.
What is More Important: Fish
New dams would mean total destruction of fish runs.
The Faber site was just below Concrete. The Corps
was looking at several sites. Upper Sauk, Lower Sauk, Faber, Upper
Baker and others. Only Upper Baker was ever constructed.
skagit river flood
control plan outlined – a h. ward says new plan will not harm local fisheries
. . . To the Editor: Your editorial of June 20,
entitled “Farm Land or Fishing” states that there is a pending conflict of
interest between the fishermen and the farmers of this community over
prospective flood control dams on the upper Skagit river and aligns the
editorial policy of your paper with the fishermen and against the interests
of the farmers. Your editorial represents that the damage done by the Skagit river is limited to the loss of a few acres of
farmland. This is such an understatement as to amount to a misrepresentation
of the facts. You have lived by the Skagit
river for over a quarter of a century and you are personally acquainted with
the families of the farmers in that community who have lost their entire
farms through riverbank erosion. While you have lived here, you have seen the
river carry away the earnings and savings of a lifetime of hard work invested
in river bank farms. You know that this erosion will continue until some
means if found to regulate the spring and fall run off of water to a more
steady stream. . . . Your editorial completely ignores the matter
of flood damage by the river. You state that the only work required on the
river is channel straightening and riverbank revetments. Just how will river
straightening and riverbank revetments eliminate the periodic flood damage in
this valley? The engineers state that straightening the river course will
increase the speed of the current, increase the danger of flash floods, and
will increase erosion. A flood which measures more than 120,000 second feet
of water at Sedro-Woolley will break the dikes and flood the lower
valley. . . . Certainly the matter of preservation of fisheries
is a part of this problem to be solved and a most important part. In any
river improvement work done, provision must be made for saving our fisheries.
The army engineers are working on part of this problem right now in survey
being made. Before you start taking pot shots at the army engineers, why not
wait and see what solution their report contains with respect to the saving
of the Skagit river fisheries? There are
many other problems in connection with the development and control of the Skagit river system besides erosion, floods and
fisheries. There are the problems of development of recreational facilities,
irrigation, reforestation and hillside erosion, and domestic water supplies.
Will it be to the best interests of this community if your paper succeeds in
dividing up the people of the valley into hostile factions, each fighting the
other for the benefit of its favorite project? We request the support of your
paper for a program of control and development of the water resources in the
county which will not favor one of the elements over the other but which will
attempt to reconcile and harmonize any conflict of interest between these
various projects. A. H. Ward, Chairman, Water Resources Com.
A.H. Ward, Local Attorney Responds
To Anti-Dam Editorial.
Dams needed to lessen riverbank erosion.
Entire farms have been lost to erosion.
Editorial supported river straightening and
Straightening river would increase the speed of the
current and would increase erosion.
Many problems due to flooding of Skagit.
Recreational facilities, irrigation, reforestation and hillside erosion and
domestic water supplies to name a few.
work begins on state fish hatchery
Work on the new state fish hatchery at Marblemount was under
way Tuesday of this week as Roy N. Gaasland of Bellingham, contractor who built the
Marblemount school, began construction of the large project on the Cascade
plans call for a main fish hatchery building 46 feet by 172 feet of rustic
stone and timber construction, 20 cement rearing ponds, a large home for the
caretaker and other small buildings.
The hatchery will be used to raise trout and salmon for a program of
restocking the hundreds of lakes and streams in the upper valley in addition
to trying to bring the fish population of the Skagit River
back to normal.
Marblemount Fish Hatchery
Construction begins. Purpose of hatchery was to “bring fish
population” back to normal (i.e. before the dams).
Skagit River Washing Away Lytle’s Burlington Farm
Dropping off with loud splashes as the swirling waters dig deeper and deeper
into the lower sand pocket is the land on the Austin Lytle farm about one and
one half miles east of Burlington in Skagit county.
fall’s heavy rains and the winter’s heavy snow fall, the Skagit river has
washed out more than 15 of his original 45 acres of fertile top soil, and
Lytle, estimating conservatively said last week that at the same rate his
house, now about 200 feet from the river, would be gone by Christmas. .
. . “The river’s near its low depth for the year,” Farmer Lytle said as
he watched salmon jump in the stream as it swirled past at a 6 mile per hour
rate. Just then several large bits of dirt and sand broke away and
washed down the river. . . . However on river control work, the county
is putting in rock revetments at Utopia, some distance east, and has
indicated it “might start work on the ‘Sterling bend’ about one half mile
east, this year, but that isn’t saving us”, the farmer dishearteningly
acknowledged. He indicated County Engineer Haljmar Walber and several
of the county commissioners had evinced great interest in river control work,
but lack of funds was holding up any work. Army and navy
engineers, called in last fall for consultation said that the river would be
hard to stop if it washed away the last 1,000 feet to the Dike road.
After crossing the Dike road, it would be in an old slough which runs through
and out to the city hospital and Darigold plant they said. The soft
sand pocket runs west to the Dike road, the hungry river needing only time
before it swallows up hundreds of acres of land. Harold Halvorson,
owning the next farm east of Lytle’s has sand silt where he used to graze
cattle, the river ruining the ground when it ate away and covered the
Erosion in Sterling Bend on Earl Jones place.
Rock revetments went in Utopia.
Soft sand pocket.
Leonard Halverson’s dad.
stocked by plane on cascade
Fish planting by airplane was
again used in the upper Skagit last week when fifty-five thousand grayling
fry were parachuted into Granite
Lake, which is located
at the head of Boulder Creek in the Cascades above Marblemount. The drop appeared to be successful. This is the second year that grayling have
been planted in this district, last year a planting being made at Lime
Mountain in the Suiattle river watershed.
The grayling is similar to the trout, and is highly rated as a game
fish. Eggs for the plantings were
obtained from Utah
hatcheries. This fish is native in Montana. The air planting was made by the state
Grayling planted in upper Skagit. It would
be interesting to find out if any of them survived.
faber ferry dumps truck
One more black mark against
the county ferries was chalked up on Friday when another passenger took a
ducking in the cold, cold Skagit
River and subsequently
had to salvage his truck from about 12 feet of water. The accident occurred when Jim Hillman’s
garbage truck had the Faber ferry slide out from under it as he was
attempting to drive onto the scow. One
other truck had already driven on and the ferryman gave Hillman the signal to
come ahead. The truck was half on the
slip when the ferry slid out into the stream and dropped the truck into the
water. Hillman just managed to get out
of the cab as it went under. The ferry
had not been tied to the landing.
Faber Ferry Accident
It has come to serious state of
affairs when it becomes necessary to keep children from school because the
county in which you live will not make safe passage for traffic across a
river. The ferry system has always
been bad, but the past few years has suffered even more from the total lack
of interest and glaring incompetence of our duly elected commissioner–our
sole “representative” in county government.
Although Mr. Carr continues to pass the ferry issue off as trivial, we
of the upper valley are growing angry and determined to settle once and for
all this daily hazard to everyone who must cross the Skagit. We know what happens when a school bus full
of children plunges into deep water.
Chelan taught us that last year.
We are determined that this will not happen here. The people of Sauk do not ask for a bridge,
which is the only permanent solution.
All they ask is a safe ferry crossing at this time. To provide this is the duty of the county
commissioners and to date they have failed in their duty failed even in
accepting responsibility. This is the
sort of thing we of the upper Skagit must
continually battle and it’s time that the true facts are presented to the
public. Refusal to send school
children into daily danger should bring quick judgment by public opinion.
Editorial Against Unsafe Ferries
School children at risk.
flood damage is large in upper skagit
marblemount hatchery has big damage
– bridge is reported out
Evaluation of flood damage in
the upper Skagit valley from the flash flood
caused last Thursday by heavy rains in this district was still not complete
this week. Many reported washouts
proved not as serious as first estimated, while real damage was found
damage in the upper valley was at the state fish hatchery at Marblemount,
and Clark Creeks combined to play havoc with the hatchery grounds. Rocks and gravel from up-stream covered the
grounds and much of the work already completed will have to be done over
before the damage can be erased.
Unofficial estimates place the damage at near $20,000.
OCTOBER 25, 1946 FLOOD
USGS 82,200 cfs Concrete
(31.14), 64,900 cfs. Mt. Vernon (27.80). Didn’t reach flood stage at Mt. Vernon.
waters drop in flooded areas east -- $20,000 damage
results at fish hatchery; bridges out
A fortunate change in the weather was all that prevented a
flood of major proportions in the upper Skagit
valley the early part of this week. As it was, considerable damage resulted
from high waters after four days of torrential rainfall. . . .
Wiseman and Hansen creeks, which washed over the roadway between
Sedro-Woolley and Lyman, further damaged the already cracked and broken
concrete highway and left silt and debris piled high. Fortunately, the Skagit river reached only bank full and failed to leave
its course expect in a few minor instances.
OCTOBER 25, 1946 FLOOD
USGS 82,200 cfs Concrete (31.14), 64,900 cfs. Mt. Vernon
(27.80). Didn’t reach flood stage at Mt.
Damage limited to streams and creeks.
ask planning group aid on baker lake
Active promotion of the Baker Lake area as a recreation spot was urged upon the
Skagit County Planning Council last Monday evening by Editor Dwelley of the
Concrete Herald, who has again resumed his post as chairman of the council’s
sub-committee on recreation. The Baker
Lake district holds a wealth of scenic and tourist attractions, equal in
possibilities to the Mt. Rainier development, yet while located in Whatcom
county, can only be reached through Skagit. Development by Skagit County
is the logical move and the planning council accepted this view with a motion
to place the project on their approved list of developments. . . .
As outlined, the plan will include a large lodge at the site of the
present fish hatchery, new camp grounds at Noisy Creek and near the bridge on
the west side; one or two more camps for organized groups; two sites near the
lake for leasing grounds to private persons for cabins; and further
development of the privately owned camps.
Baker Lake Recreational Area
Obviously this all changed with
the building of Upper Baker Dam.
Silvers Heavy Sockeyes are Normal At Dam
Over 7,000 silver salmon and 4,900 sockeye salmon have
been placed over Baker
River dam so far this
season, according to Milo Moore, Director of Fisheries. . . . The Dept.
of Fisheries and the power company are now studying ways and means of
improving the traps and hoisting cars to eliminate injuries and to permit the
rehabilitation of steelhead trout and Chinook salmon runs, now almost
completely destroyed. . . . Studies
being conducted by Dept. of Fisheries to be completed during coming winter.
Sockeye run normal but silver run is almost twice the size
of any previous cyclic run since the construction of the Baker River Dam.
Steelhead and Chinook almost completely
NOTE: Need to obtain studies from Fisheries.
record salmon run on baker
Over 7,000 silver salmon and
4,900 sockeye salmon have been taken over the Baker River
dam so far this season, according to the state department of fisheries. The sockeye run is about normal, but the
silver run is almost twice the size of any precious cyclic run since the
construction of the dam. The
department reports that fish trapping and handling facilities at the local
dam are still far from perfect, but that the power company is cooperating in
every way to aid the rehabilitation of salmon runs with existing traps. Both the company and the department are now
studying ways and means of improving the traps and hoisting cars to eliminate
injuries and to permit restoration of steelhead trout and Chinook salmon
runs, now almost completely destroyed.
Silver and sockeye salmon have reacted more favorably because they
occur at the season of the year when they are more easily trapped.
7,000 silvers and 4,900 sockeye.
Steelhead and Chinook almost
Four Skagit county logging
companies this week filed damage suits against the City of Seattle, charging
faulty operation of Ross and Diablo dams during the high water of October 24
and 25, which resulted in the loss of logs boomed on the lower Skagit near
Day and Gilligan creeks. The companies
assert that the City of Seattle’s power
projects failed to hold back and regulate correctly the rapid rise in the Skagit River
above the dams and that the resulting high water in the lower Skagit was thereby unnecessary. They ask $36,900 in payment for logs taken
down the river when high water tore out their boom sticks.
Seattle City Light Sued By Loggers
Talk of making the Baker Lake area into a huge recreational resort has now
reached the planning stage. The forest
service has the preliminary plotting done with provisions for a lodge on the
site of the old Baker Lake fish hatchery, new camp grounds and lease property
for private cabins, a ranch resort at Morovitz, development of the hot
springs, a ski resort at Schreiber’s and eventual development of the Mazama
park area a natural ski bowl. All this
is as much a part of our resources as timber or mines, and will pay dividends
perpetually instead of what’s being developed. Tourists are good business.
Baker Lake Planning Area
Lake recreational resort would bring in tourist and
“Tourists are good business.”
rain brings more high water in skagit valley
More of the same, said the
weather man this week as again the skies opened up and sent down enough
dripping, soaking rain to send the creeks and rivers up to flood stage in the
upper valley. This time, however,
traffic continued to move after a fashion.
Water was over the road at Corkindale, near Marblemount, when a creek
left its banks. The temporary bridge
at Rocky creek slipped a little lower at one end. Ferries suspended operation during the peak
stages of the Skagit. At Wiseman creek below Hamilton, ten inches of water met daring
motorists but failed to stop many of them.
Mail and food trucks came through a little late. At Hamilton
the high water and bad roads made a detour advisable.
funds for river improvements at utopia approved
Final approval of the $15,000 emergency appropriation to
take care of flood control on the Skagit
river near Utopia, has now been secured, according to a letter to the
Courier-Times from Congressman Henry M. Jackson.
Utopia Funds Approved
The new county commissioners
will take office on the 16th of this month, bringing the county
two men who firmly maintain that a bridge across the Skagit
near Concrete is of prime importance to the county as a whole. Ferries are rapidly becoming as costly as
separate bridges and a few years of operation under present expenditures will
not only mean outlay of money sufficient to provide for at least one bridge,
but will mean that this money is wasted as far as the county is
concerned. There are times when
spending money means saving money.
This is the case in building a bridge in the upper valley. The people of the upper Skagit
have two friends to talk to in the commissioner’s office this year and should
lose no time in calling on them and talking the subject over. No matter how favorable they may be, the
upper valley must take the initiative and request immediate action. From then on the commissioners can proceed
as our elected representatives.
Upriver Bridges Needed to Replace
Ferries as costly as a new
fish hatchery at birdsview will
The government (federal) fish
hatchery at Birdsview will be abandoned this spring. This word was received recently from head
officials of the federal fish and wildlife department under which the
hatchery has been operating for the past few years after the reorganization
of the old Bureau of Fisheries. The
hatchery is one of the oldest in the state and had been the headquarters for
fish propagation in this section for many years. The closing was made necessary by the
condition of Grandy Creek. Erosion has
been increasing on this stream for the past few years until so much silt and
debris has been washed from its upper reaches that the water is no longer
usable for the hatching troughs and rearing ponds.
Birdsview Fish Hatchery Closing
The hatchery was primarily
interested in the salmon run on the Skagit
and Baker rivers.
will try to keep hatchery at
It took a little time for the
news that the upper valley was about to lose the Birdsview hatchery to sink
in – but when it did people began to do a little thinking about the
matter. The result was a resolution by
the Birdsview Grange that an effort be made to have the U. S. Fish and Wildlife
Service continue the hatchery in operation.
. . . It
was pointed out that the only real reason for closing the hatchery is the
silt in Grandy Creek from which the water supply is derived. This condition is caused by erosion on the upper reaches of the stream
and in turn comes from logging operations which have cut the heavy cover from
the watershed. . . . During its many
years operation on Grandy Creek, the hatchery has paid big dividends to the
upper valley, maintaining a continuous study of the sockeye run on the Baker River
and the various salmon runs in the Skagit. In addition trout from the hatchery have
been placed in almost every lake in the district. The resulting
fine fishing sport has brought hundreds of fishermen to the upper valley and
continuation of the stocking program is necessary to hold and improve this
growing recreation business.
Loggers blamed for deteriorating
water conditions of Grandy Creek.
Hatchery ran by the federal government.
Hatchery was a valuable resource
supplementing fish runs and thus bringing hundreds of sports fisherman into
complete plans for flood control in
beaver lake area
Engineering plans for the elimination of drainage and
flood problems in the Beaver
Lake area were
completed this week by Roy Tuttle, SCS engineer. . . . Tuttle’s
plan includes a drag line channel clearance job calculated to put the rampaging
East Fork of the Nookachamps Creek back into its old channel, a short dike to
be faced with quarried rock and also included a badly needed dredging job at
the lower end of the project. “The Beaver Lake area has become a
veritable jungle,” Tuttle said, “Excellent land has been inundated by the
spreading creek, the land over the years has now grown up to alder and willow
brush. The land is too wet to work. . . . During high water
the creek actually flows back into Beaver
Lake, rendering useless
almost all the farm lands now drained by Drainage District No. 21’s choked up
Beaver Lake Flooding
Nookachamps Creek silted in. The area described in
this article is believed to be near the current Tewalt Rock Quarry.
During the 1990 and 1995 flood events the Skagit
backed up into this area and local drainage had no place to go.
seattle okays completion of
higher ross dam
The Seattle City Council this
week approved the proposal to negotiate with the builders of Ross Dam for
completion of the third and final “step” in the huge Skagit
river project. The present contract
will be complete, except for minor details in the next two months and the
officials of City Light believe that they can secure a good bid on the final
step if the work is begun while the contractors have their equipment and
labor still at the site. The present
dam rises to a height of 475 feet. The
final contractor will elevate this to the 540 foot level and will allow the
generating equipment to be installed and placed in operation. No power will be generated at Ross Dam
until the final step has been completed.
. . . The final step on the dam
will cost in the neighborhood of seven million dollars and will require
another two years work.
Was only 475 feet tall in 1947!
Editorial—It Could Happen
This week’s high stage of the Skagit
river ought to remind us that rivers long kept in their places have a way of
springing surprises. It’s been so long since the Skagit went on any
serious rampage, near Mount Vernon,
that it’s all too easy for the city to remain complacent about its
defenses. It’s all too easy to ignore the widening gaps in the old
piling bulwarks to “the dike”, to forget those feverish days and nights of
other flood seasons when townsmen and countrymen fought the river as a real
and threatening adversary, with shovel and sandbag. Much more of the Skagit basin’s timber went to the mills during the war
years, and it’s still going. Which means that rains and melting snows
reach the stream more rapidly than ever before. Isn’t it about time to
look over our river defenses once more and plug the little gaps before they
become destructive torrents?
flood event is undocumented in Corps and USGS records.
Course May be changed, hughes
Chairman Lowell Hughes of the Skagit County Commissioners
announced this week that a $100,000 project to send the Skagit river over a
new course east of Burlington and eliminate the dangerous oxbow bend that has
been eroding farmlands there might be undertaken this summer. . .
. The proposal most likely to be adopted, Hughes indicated, is to open
a new watercourse from the upper end of the Burlington bend to the lower end, where
Nookachamps creek enters the main stream. This would be accomplished by
digging a shallow course with heavy equipment and letting action of the river
deepen and widen the new channel. Heavy erosion was observed during the
May freshets in the Burlington Bend area. The eating away of the
farmlands in the bend is still going on and may grow worse . . . Last
year several farm buildings were lost to the river. Hughes said owners
of property that would be affected by the new channel project are being
contacted. . . . Only alternative to digging a new channel is a
heavy revetment program around the bend, which would be much more costly.
Cut a new
channel through the Nookachamps.
eliminated Strawberry Bar.
Editorial—Courage To Do
The members of the board of Skagit County commissioners
are well aware of the consequences of tinkering with the Skagit river’s
course when they propose to “do something” about the stream’s steady
encroachment on valuable farm lands east of Burlington and its threat to that
city itself. That was made plain as day Tueday night when Chairman
Lowell Hughes told a chamber of commerce industrial development audience here
of the commissioners’ plans. Hughes’ frankness was refreshing, as he
emphasized that “we are sticking our necks way out on this project.” So
little had been said recently of the proposal to start the river on a new
course designed to eliminate the river’s “oxbow” bend at Burlington and stop
its present heavy erosion (erosion that has been moving ahead ominously
during recent weeks’ high water) that Hughes’ comments took many by
surprise. The spirit of courage, in undertaking a project of such
magnitude with its many uncertainties, is commendable on the part of the
commissioners. Eliminating the “Burlington Bend” of the Skagit probably will be only the beginning. The Skagit is a constantly shifting type of stream.
One remedy may merely breed a new erosion problem at another point. Of
this the county commissioners are well aware. But they are willing,
backed by the best engineering advice they can obtain, to take the chances
involved and to go ahead and try to do something about the river problem;
that is much better than sitting back doing nothing for fear “something might
happen”. Were the commissioners to take the latter course, there is
danger that the whole lower Skagit valley
might undergo drastic change. The flood control engineers agree that
the river threatens to cut into Gages slough, on the south-eastern edge of
Burlington and make a new channel through Whitney, or within eight or nine
years to take out the Burlington-Sedro Woolley highway, the Great Northern
right of way and work a new course running into the Samish river.
Far-fetched? The engineers don’t believe so.
the “Burlington Bend”.
One mans flood
control is another mans flood problem concept.
about river changing course into Gages Slough.
Contributes to Hatchery Cost
Milo Moore, state director of fisheries, today received a
$54,950 check from Seattle City Comptroller W.C. Thomas to assist in
financing construction of the state fish hatchery at Marblemount. The
sum is in compensation for damage to eggs and small fish in the river above
Marblemount due to the operation of the Seattle City Light department
dams. Spawning Unaffected . . . It has been
established however that operation of the dams caused damage to eggs and
small fish in the river above Marblemount. This was verified for the
city of Seattle by Trevor Kincaid, until
recently a professor at the University
City Light’s contribution will pay for the construction of seven rearing
ponds and related water supply and provide operating funds for nine
years. Completed in Fall Twenty ponds are under
construction and will be completed this fall. Twenty more will be built
as soon as additional funds are available, making a total of 40 ponds.
Approximately three million silver and Chinook Salmon and steelhead per year
will be put into the Skagit River watershed by the new hatchery, Moore said. The
number of fish planted will later be increased to six million per year.
Clark Creek . . . [Milo Moore said] “City Light by its
spirit of cooperation has demonstrated fine leadership in community
planning. Through their understanding of the problems of conservation
an important step has been taken for protecting the Skagit
fisheries for future generations.” . . . Eighteen ponds will be
used for salmon and two ponds for steelheads. . . . Results of
the operation should be evident in from three to five years, Moore said. The
run will continue to build up by increased natural spawning aiding by continuous
Director of Fisheries Prasies
SCL to help pay for State operated hatchery at
Marblemount. Operation of SCL dams caused damage to eggs and small fish
in the river above Marblemount.
3 million silver and king salmon and steelhead per year
will be put into the Skagit
increased to 6 million.
River Channel to be Changed With State
Nookachamps to Be Dredged and New Road Opened
County officials this week received assurances that the
State Department of Conservation and Development would grant substantial
financial aid in carrying out three major projects, the by-passing of the
“Burlington Bend” in the Skagit river, the
restoration of Nookachamps Creek to its old bed and the development of the
Cascade mine-to-market road. . . . A state fund of $100,000 is expected
to be made available (for Bend
project). The commissioners are planning to get the river project
underway soon and hope to see it completed before the late fall high water
period. They propose to send the river through a new channel, on a
straight line from the upper end of the Burlington
ox-bow to the lower end, where Nookachamps creek enters. The state, the
county and the drainage district involved are to pay a third each or about
$6,000 apiece, to dredge out the old channel from which the Nookachamps creek
moved last winter, and to clean out numerous log jams along the
channel. The creek has spread “across country” for a mile, Hughes said.
DCD was forerunner of State Dept of Ecology.
Nookachamps creek moved in 1946?? There was a flood
event on 10/25/46, 31.14 at Concrete, 27.8 at Mt.
County Changes Plans On River Cutoff Project
Lowell Hughes, chairman of the board of county commissioners,
today announced revision of engineering plans of Burlington Bend, switching
back to the original bank revetment program. . . . “Plans were
submitted last week to the army engineers for final approval,” stated Mr.
Hughes, “but requirements placed upon the job by Colonel Hewett’s office
makes it impossible for Skagit
County to carry out the
plan as originally proposed.” Demands Full Width “The
stipulation which has brought about the change in the Burlington Bend erosion
control plan is the requirement by the federal government that Skagit County
either dredge the entire channel which the river will require, that is a
stream bed approximately 400 feet wide, or that funds be put in escrow by the
county for the future dredging downstream of the material removed by the
river in establishing its normal channel width.”
Burlington Bend Plans Change
County was going to cut a new channel across Strawberry
Bar in order to stop erosion on Burlington
side of the river. Corps demanded County dredge 400 ft channel or put
funds into escrow for future dredging downstream.
County refused to put funds into escrow, project was
Plans For River switching get
Rock Revetment to Be Used in Bend
. . . revision of engineering plans at Burlington Bend,
switching back to the original bank revetment program. . . .
“Plans were submitted last week to the Army Engineers for final approval,”
said Hughes, “but requirements placed upon the job by Colonel Hewitt’s office
makes it impossible for Skagit
County to carry out the
plan as originally proposed.” “The stipulation which has brought about
the change in Burlington Bend erosion control plan is the requirement by the
federal government that Skagit County either dredge the entire channel which
the river will require, that is a stream bed approximately 400 feet wide, or
that funds be put in escrow by the County for the future dredging down stream
of the material removed by the river establishing its normal channel
width.” Mr. Hughes pointed out that Skagit County is expending every
effort to correct the present Burlington Bend, that funds are not sufficient
to put money in escrow for such an unknown contingency, therefore, the
Commissioners had only one choice to make, that of spending what money was available
in rock reveting the worst sections, of the curve.
Corps of Engineers kills plan. Wanted 400 ft wide
channel or funds put into escrow for future dredging down stream.
Guest Editorial—Puget Sound
Mail—More Fish Troubles
For months now the Puget Sound Mail has been trying to
point out the danger of the dam building movement to the commercial fishing
industry and trying to arouse LaConner fisherman to an organized effort to
present the fishing industry’s story. Now it appears that the men who
make their living by catching and processing fish have still another fight on
their hands, that of over-zealous and short-sighted sportsmen who desire to
eliminate most types of commercial fishing. It would appear to the
Puget Sound Mail that the sports fishermen should get together to fight for a
greater fish propagation, to carry the battle to those who would place dams
where spawning grounds are endangered, rather than squabble among themselves.
Paper was against building dams because of their impact to
the fishing industry.
many fish to be planted in
upper skagit district
More fish plantings for the
upper Skagit district were in prospect as State Game Protector M. Splane began
a plant of rainbow and cutthroat fry from the Lake Whatcom
hatchery. The first are between three
and four inches in length. Plantings
will be made as follows: Day Creek, 15,000; Upper Skagit
between Gorge Creek and Diablo, 20,000; 25,000 in creeks along the Baker
river; 10,000 in Swift Creek. Big
Watson lake will be planted with 20,000 cutthroats by plane and another
50,000 rainbow will be flown to Diablo
Lake is slated for
30,000 cutthroat by truck.
Only planted trout, no
salmon. However, article shows that
even the cutthroat trout population was not natural in the Skagit River
as many of those plants in creeks clearly made their way down to the Skagit.
Flood Project Still Unsettled
A new river channel across the Burlington bend, or
nothing, that seemed to be the consensus of the group of farmers residing in
that area who met last night with Skagit County Commissioners, Burlington
city officials, and representatives from the state department of conservation
and development, U.S. Army Engineers and the county planning commission, of
the city hall in Burlington. . . . Engineers’ Stand The
Army Engineers’ stand on the matter was outlined last night by Byron Clark,
assistant to Col. Hewitt, who was sent to the meeting by the latter.
Clark said that Col. Hewitt’s job was concerned primarily with navigation of
the Skagit River and he had to abide by certain
rules and regulations governing the same. The colonel was not opposed
to a new channel, Clark said, but he said
that the channel would have to be wider than planned by state and county
authorities and an amount of around $400,000 would have to be put in escrow
to take care of possible damage by siltation below the cut. . . .
County’s Part Lowell Hughes, chairman of the board of county
commissioners, explained thoroughly the county’s part in the picture.
Originally he said, both the county and the state had agreed on matching
money for the new channel work. However when it was presented to the
U.S. Army Engineers for the permit necessary for that office, the new
stipulations were presented and the cost was more than either the county or
state could possibly match. This meant, the commissioner added, that
the only alternative to use present funds, would be to install rock revetment
work along the most dangerous part of the Burlington bend. . . . Action
Needed . . .Despite a plea from several authorities that rock
revetment should be installed right away, now that it would be impossible to
construct the channel, most of the farmers present stood pat on their
decision for a new channel. Mr. and Mrs. Austin Lytle, whose farm has
suffered the worst loss from erosion at Burlington Bend, stated that they
would refuse to sign a damage waiver to allow the installation of rock
revetment in place of the new channel. . . . Downstream
Silt Another farmer asked the U.S. Army Engineers’ representative
if he thought more downstream silt would result from the 16 acres of soil
necessary to be removed to make a new channel, or the 24 acres that have
already been washed from the Lytle farm and more that may be expected.
. . . Actual work in constructing a new cutoff amounts to the removal
of 271,000 cubic yards of dirt for the 1,600 feet of distance, county
engineer H.O. Walberg told the audience last night.
Farmers Still Want Channel At Burlington Bend
Across Strawberry Bar
Corps concerned only with navigation of channel.
$400,000 would have to be put into escrow to take care of possible damage of
increased siltation in lower river.
County says new conditions imposed by Corps unsatisfactory
due to cost of project.
Farmers still want new channel.
Sterling farmer refused to sign damage waiver for rip-rap
instead of new channel. This farmer had lost 24 acres of ground.
Farm is now owned by Earl Jones.
New channel would have required removal of 271,000 cubic
yards of dirt and been 1,600 ft long.
Flood Control Meeting Set
Plans to send a representative to Washington
D.C. to seek action on flood control work at
the Burlington bend will be discussed at a
meeting of farmers and Burlington
city officials scheduled for Monday evening, August 25. . . .
Spokesman at the meeting declared that abandonment of the proposed channel to
divert flood waters has created an emergency and that valuable farm lands as
well as the city of Burlington
itself is in danger of immediate damage.
Farmers Upset Over Abandonment Of
New Channel Project
Felt emergency had been created.
Farmers To Call For Flood Action
A group of fifty determined Burlington
farmers will descent upon Col. L.H. Hewitt, district head of the U.S. Army
Engineers in Seattle tomorrow, to present
their plea for the construction of a channel across Burlington
bend on the Skagit
River in connection
with flood and erosion control. The original plan of building a channel
across the oxbow on the river bend near Burlington
was stymied by the Army Engineers when they stipulated that the channel would
have to be constructed wider than originally planned and that an amount near
$400,000 would have to be put in escrow to take care of possible down-river
siltation. The farmers residing in the danger area have turned thumbs
down on an alternate proposal by the county to put in rock revetment on one
portion of the bend. A spokesman for the farmers’ group said today that
if no favorable reply is forthcoming from Col. Hewitt, a delegation of women
will “see what they can do.”
50 Farmers To Protest In Seattle
Farmers preferred new channel over rip-rap project
Said that if they weren’t successful in changing the
Colonels mind they would send their women “to see what they can do.”
Flood Control Survey Planned
Congressman Henry M. Jackson, conferring with County
Engineer H.O. Walberg in Mount Vernon today, announced that he has requested
an overall survey of the Skagit river to determine where emergency flood
control measures will be needed. . . . To Seek Federal
Aid . . . Federal flood control work can be done only on
existing dikes or work which had formerly been completed by government W.P.A.
projects, mainly revetment work, Jackson said. However, the authorized
and comprehensive survey of flood control on the Skagit River
that has been underway by the government for some time, is expected to be
completed this winter. He said that it would probably be two or three
years, however, before the project would come before congress for its approval
New Flood Study Planned
Current study been underway for sometime. New survey
would look for “emergency work.”
Salmon Increase In Skagit
Seattle – State Department fisheries
surveys in the Skagit and Stillaguamish
river systems revealed that pink salmon escapement in these streams was greatly
improved over the last cycle year of 1945, State Director Milo Moore,
announced today. . . . The Skagit River
system showed 30 percent greater escapement than 1945. The survey party
found 150,000 pink salmon and 11,000 king salmon spawning in the area between
Newhalem dam and Faber ferry on the Skagit River.
These figures are not estimates, but based on actual counts taken by the
party which drifted down the rivers in a boat recording every fish sighted on
a counter, Moor said.
Big Run Of Humpies
11,000 Kings found spawning between Newhalem dam and Faber
Ferry (located west of Concrete).
salmon on increase in skagit river
The state department of
fisheries recent survey of the Skagit and
Stillaguamish rivers has revealed that pink salmon escapement has been
greatly increased in both waters over the last cycle year of 1945. The survey party found 150,000 pink salmon
and 11,000 king salmon spawning in the area between Newhalem dam and Faber
ferry on the Skagit. These figures are based on actual counts
taken as the survey party drifted down the river in a boat, recording the
fish sighted. The Skagit
river count shows a 30 per cent greater escapement than in 1945. The Stillaguamish, in a similar survey,
showed a 50 per cent improvement.
11,000 Kings found spawning
between Newhalem and Faber Ferry.
Interesting to note is that they didn’t count any fish on the Sauk and
only included fish that they saw.
River must have been incredibly clear for this survey to mean
Sewage Plant Weakens Dike, Council Told
The Mount Vernon
sewer disposal plant project, subject of many a heated controversy since it
was first proposed, hit a new snag last night when district dike
commissioners protested to the city council that the location of the plant
weakens the dike at that point. Appearing before the council on behalf
of the dike district were Commissioners Dan Sundquist, Magnus Johnson and Pete Lee, together with their
attorney, James G. Smith. . . . Base is Poured . .
. Since the council felt unqualified to act in the matter at this time,
the dike district’s protest was referred to a conference between dike
commissioners and representatives of the engineering firm, Parker and Hill,
to be held in the near future.
Dike District Protest Location of Mt. Vernon
Sewage Treatment Plant
Protest referred to consultant.
Dike Commissioners Protest
Location of Disposal Plant
Fearful that the dike would be weakened by construction of
the new sewage disposal plant now being erected, dike commissioners Pete Lee,
Magnus Johnson and Dan Sundquist
met with the city council last night to enter complaint. . . .
commissioners felt that the dike at that point was a danger spot and asked if
bond had been secured in case of damage due to flood. Johnson suggested that the dike might have been
weakened by silt and sand drawn through the pumping system set up to keep out
seepage. Lee drew attention to past floods, and suggested that the
plant should have been outside the dike. The council assured the
commissioners that they were also deeply concerned with safety against floods
and expressed their confidence in the engineers in charge. City manager
Bruce Nelson was of the opinion that the structure would strengthen the dike
rather than weaken it although he admitted that temporarily there might be
danger. He stated that records of high water had been studied and the
engineers picked the present season as safest.
Sewage Treatment Plant
Dike District Commissioner wanted plant outside dike.
Flood Crest of Skagit
Reached; Receding Today
The swirling waters of the Skagit River,
after having reached a flood crest of 21.6 feet here at 6 p.m. last night,
are rapidly receding today, apparently eliminating for the time being at
least, the threat of major flood in this area. . . . Families
Marooned Several families in the Day Creek area today are marooned
as the Gilligan Creek bridge washed out completely Saturday and the Lyman
ferry, that provided the only other outlet for some 50 families, sunk after
having been covered with debris from the rushing river. . . . All
of the ferries crossing the Skagit
River were grounded
today and will not be operated during the high water period. School
children residing on the south side of the river in the Day Creek, Lyman and
Concrete districts are unable to attend school today. . . . Trucks
Overturn . . . A total of 1.29 inches of rainfall fell in
this area over the weekend, according to reports maintained at the county
OCTOBER 19, 1947 FLOOD
USGS 95,200 cfs Concrete (32.9), 69,400 cfs Mt. Vernon
(28.68). Comparable to first October flood in 2003.
21.6 feet at Moose Hall gage.
Lyman ferry sinks.
rains, rivers bring much flood
damage – bridge washed out, cars wrecked, sewers back up, as two inches of rain falls
in 48 hours, woman barely escapes injury
A bridge was washed out, two trucks were wrecked by
rushing flood waters, traffic was interrupted, rivers were swelled to flood
levels and sewers backed up in the Sedro-Woolley area, as the skies opened up
and dumped more than two inches of rainfall in 48 hours last weekend to bring
the month’s rainfall to 5.97 inches. This is an inch above the average
for the entire month of October. . . . By Saturday night water
was rushing across the Lyman road as Wiseman Creek emptied gravel in two high
banks across the highway to hamper traffic and stall may a motorist.
Flood waters reached a peak of 21.6 feet about 6:00 p.m. Sunday and began
receding after that. Rising waters also chopped away more land from
farm property near the Burlington
bend. (During the last rainstorm two weeks ago, the Austin Lytle place
lost 11 feet of land in two days . . .
OCTOBER 19, 1947 FLOOD
USGS 95,200 cfs Concrete (32.99 ), 69,400 cfs Mt. Vernon
21.6 ft reading believed to be at Mt. Vernon Moose
Lodge. This was barely a flood stage event in the lower valley.
Austin Lytle place is currently owned by Earl Jones.
Way Now Paved For Immediate Work on Dikes
A joint program between the city and county for immediate work on waterfront
diking repairs with the aid of state matching money, is assured today
following the adoption of an emergency measure by the city council last night
to cover the city’s portion of the cost. The program, as announced by
Councilman Vern Schacht who had previously met with the board of county
commissioners on the matter, calls for probable rock revetment work along the
waterfront dike from the south end of the Division street bridge to the south end
of property owned by Minnie Lee, known as the Dewdrop tavern. . .
. Rock Work Probable . . . Recent high water of the Skagit river had done considerable damage to the east
bank of the river and threatened to do still greater damage unless emergency
measures to correct the situation were instituted. Inspect
Site With city appropriating $4,000 toward the project, the state
matching fund would make a total of 12,000 available for the work.
State authorities, who with members of the county engineer’s office inspected
river erosion here yesterday, approved the project as an emergency measure
and assured local officials that state aid would be forthcoming. Public
Hearing . . .The revetment work along the dike will be done by the
county, using their equipment and manpower.
and County Work Together On Dike Project
Rock revetment work along waterfront dike. Recent
flood did considerable damage to east bank of the river.
State matching funds $12,000. Revetment work to be
done by the County.
Push Completion of Ross Project
SEATTLE, Nov. 14 – (U.P.) – Supt. E. R. Hoffman yesterday requested the city
council appropriate $350,000 to initiate plans for construction of a power
house at the Ross dam site now building and transmission lines to Seattle for
current it will produce. . . . He said Ross dam would be
completed in 1948 and that its storage capacity of 1,400,000 acre-feet of
water was the key to the project of the Skagit
Ross Dam To Be Completed In 1948
County Ready For River Bank Work;
Now up to State
Need Critical, Says Walberg as County, City Unite on Job
With both jobs classed as emergencies, estimates and plans
for rock fills at two points on the river front have been submitted to the
Flood control Engineer at Olympia,
according to H.O. Walberg, county engineer. “We consider these problems
critical,” said Walberg, “so critical that we have started the powder work at
the quarry.” The two projects nkown at Unit Seven and Unit Four extend
from the bridge south for several blocks and along the river bank near the
Darigold plant. . . . Basalt rock will be quarried on the 10 acre
plot north of Sterling bend. . .
. The rock and equipment is to be furnished by the county by the
Soundings were made early this week and it was found that
the river is 33 feet deep just south of the bridge and the wall approximately
on a one to one slope. . . . With a 33 foot depth, it is 61 feet
from the street elevation to the lowest point.
River 33 feet deep??
what bridge? says county
The Concrete Lions Club
played hosts to the County Commissioners last evening, having invited them to
be present to give their knowledge and advice to a discussion of a Skagit river bridge for the upper valley. Commissioners Ed Carr, Lowell Hughes and
Wallace Sharp heard the discussion of the club in regard to the project that
has been the subject of campaigns, meetings and publicity here for a number
of years, culminating in a definite selection of a site and the promise of
active support by the commissioners last spring. Then the commissioners shocked the club
members almost out of speech by admitting that they knew very little about a
bridge for this district and had made no effort whatsoever to investigate the
possibilities of building one. There
was never even an inquiry by the board into how a bridge could be financed.
Small disconnect between upriver
community and County
This week our editorial column is
reserved for a complete and detailed report of the plans made, financing,
outlined, surveys completed and other notable work done on the Skagit river
bridge for the upper valley by the county commissioners who only last year
were elected to office with the bridge as the number one item in their
campaign pledges. The report reads as
Editor’s comment: It has been
a long time since we have such an unblemished record presented by men hired
to serve the public as top executives.
We only hope that these men choose to “stand on their record” next
Editorial Comment on Competency of
With Respect To Dalles
Sometimes saying nothing at all
speaks volumes. There was nothing but
a blank space in the report section of the editorial.
Major Projects Outlined for City
A major six-year construction program involving the expenditure of an
estimated 50 million dollars has been announced by Seattle City Light for its
Skagit river project, it was revealed
today. . . . The initial project, contract of which is expected
to be let soon, calls for considerable tunnel work at the present dam sites,
installation of an additional generator at Newhalem and the construction of a
camp for workers at Gooddell creek, it was learned. To Raise Gorge
Dam Planned for the second phase of the gigantic construction
program will be the addition of seven feet to the present Gorge dam and other
work at that site. A workers’ camp will also be built at a site known
as East End. The third phase of the
project calls for continuation of present work at Ross Dam, including the
construction of 1800 more feet of cement lined tunnels. . . . Local
Employment . . . A large number of men are at present
employed at construction work at Ross Dam which is rapidly reaching its
Seattle City Light To Spend $50,000,000
Tunnel work, additional generator at Newhalem, raise Gorge
a bridge in 1952 maybe
The three million dollar
program schedules a complete job of repair, maintenance and new construction
for all county roads and bridges, but will fall about one million dollars
short of estimated revenues for the four-year period. This means that unless additional funds can
be provided from new sources, the complete program can not be carried out. As usual, the upper valley gets the short
end of the deal, with little to be done in this district except for some
repairs on the Sauk river road and some new bridges there in the next two
years. The road from the Dalles to Faber and the Faber bridge
are on the program for 1950 at the earliest.
The county expects to be about $360,000 short on funds by this time,
which gives an idea of how much importance is placed on a bridge in this vicinity. Engineer Wallberg stated that cost of ferry
operation for 1947 was $70,000, of which all but the $8,000 subsidy on the Guemes Island
ferry was spent on the Skagit river
ferries. He estimated it would take
$60,000 to operate them in 1948.
Still running ferries during
this time span at $60,000 a year.
How long would an efficient
organization go on paying $30,000 to $70,000 a year to maintain old equipment
that could be replaced with new minimum upkeep material in a matter of five
or six years at the same cost!
Well, count the years they have been maintaining our antiquated ferry
service at various points along the Skagit
river. Then note that in a four-year
plan of master-minded road and bridge construction – the bridge that would
eliminate three costly ferries is relegated to the “someday” bracket. What kind of economy is this! If any group of roads in the lower valley
were costing $70,000 a year to maintain and were getting worse each year
there would be something done – even if it cost every cent the prosperous
third district could dig up. But let
the same amount be wasted up here and you can’t get the commissioners to lift
an eyelid. None are so blind as those
who will not see. We now must
ascertain if they are also deaf.
Demanded Action on Upriver Bridge
aunt jemima in person
Famous Lady Visits
seek federal aid to construct span
The first direct effort to gain federal aid in the
construction of a steel span across the Skagit river near Concrete was
started today with appeals being made to congressional representatives from
this state by Chambers of Commerce of various cities in this county. . .
. “We ask you and urge your support for federal funds to construct a
bridge cross on the Skagit river in the
vicinity of Concrete. 1. Construction of the bridge will give access to
largest available stand of federal timber remaining in this state. . .
. 4. Timer valuations will increase 25 per cent by the erection of a
bridge. . . .”
Congressmen Asked For Aid To Construct Dalles Bridge
Timber valuations would increase by 25%.
skagit river bridge
near concrete urged – many groups join in requesting federal funds
construction of skagit
river span to make
timber accessible, to aid schools
Direct appeal for federal aid construction of a bridge
across Skagit River near Concrete was started Monday
at a special meeting called by S.S. McIntyre, president of the East-West, No
State Highway Association. . . . Primary reason for the group
asking immediate erection of the bridge is to make timber available to
independent local mill operators in Skagit,
Whatcom, and Snohomish counties. . . . School authorities
County have also
emphasized the necessity of a span to insure the safety of children being
brought to school. The ferries being used at present have been repeatedly
mentioned as “dangerous, expensive, and unsatisfactory” for crossing the
river. . . . It has been pointed out that by the government’s
constructing the span across the river, the value of the timber would be
increased sufficiently to pay for the project.
Bridge At Dalles Requested
Federal aid requested to build new bridge at the Dalles near
Bridge would make timber available to independent mill operators.
hope still exists for skagit
Possibility of securing federal funds for the construction
of a bridge across the Skagit river at
Concrete appeared remote today, according to information received in a
telegram this morning by State Senator Jess Sapp from U.S. Congressman Henry
Federal Funding Remote For Dalles Bridge
flood control job on skagit
will start soon
Announcement of the official approval of the flood control
project at Burlington bend on the Skagit river came today noon from Art Garton, state
director of conservation and development, who notified the Daily Herald by
long distance telephone that the go ahead signal had been given for the major
undertaking. Contracts are expected to be awarded during the next 30 days on
the estimated $174,000 flood control job, he said. The work will be done
under the supervision of the U.S.
army engineers. . . . Financed Jointly Financing of the project
is being taken care of by federal, state, county, city and diking district
allocations as announced by Garton: state, $88,000; U.S. army engineers. $50,000;
Skagit county, $26,000; city of Burlington,
$5,000; diking and drainage district, $5,000. Work to be done at Burlington
bend, which is located a short distance east of the city of Burlington,
includes rock revetment work with filter blanket beneath, for the entire area
on the north bank of the bend which is estimated to be around 3900 feet. That
portion of the Skagit river has long been
considered as the most dangerous area as far as possible flood break-throughs
are concerned. Already acres of valuable farm land have plunged into the
river at that point in the past few years. Engineers have stated many
times in the past that unless flood control work were instituted there, the
city or Burlington
itself could easily be completely inundated under water in case of a major
Burlington Bend Project Approved
3,900 ft rock revetment project. Total cost
Cost Sharing -- State, $88,000; U.S. army engineers. $50,000; Skagit County,
$26,000; City of Burlington,
$5,000; diking and drainage district, $5,000.
Most dangerous area for “flood break-throughs”.
Burlington bend project approved
Approval of the flood control project at Burlington
bend on the Skagit river was announced this
week by Art Garton, state director of conservation and development. Contracts
for the $174,000 job are to be awarded within the next 30 days and work will
be done under supervision of U. S. Army engineers, Garton said. Financing
allocation include $88,000 from the state, $50,000 from U.S. Engineers;
$26,000 from Skagit county; $5,000 from the city of Burlington; and $5000 from diking and
drainage district. . . . It is estimated the project will be
completed by fall.
Burlington Bend Project
$88,000 from state, $50,000 federal funds, $26,000 from Skagit County;
$5,000 from Burlington
and $5,000 from Dike 12.
Same area that was worked on in 1935. See
CT article 7/25/35
Emergency Funds To Flood Control
The army engineers notified Representative Henry M. Jackson Tuesday, according
to word received here, that $50,000 has been allocated from emergency funds
for flood control work on the Burlington bend
of the Skagit river.
will contribute $100,000 to the project while the county will take care of
the balance. Work is expected to be started under the direction of army
engineers within the next month.
Burlington Bend “Emergency Work” to begin.
Flood Control At Burlington
Emergency Food control work seems assured for the
Burlington Bend, according to a telegram received from Congressman Henry M.
Jackson yesterday. Jackson
advised that the office of Chief of Engineers has approved a grant of $50,000
for the project. The state has already agreed to furnish up to
$88,000. So far, the county has not set any figure for its share of the
Burlington Bend Project
forest service has no funds for skagit
As was expected, the Forestry
Department at Portland found no funds available for aiding Skagit County in
building a bridge across the Skagit river here this year. County
Engineer Walberg met with Forestry
officials in Portland upon his return from Washington D.C.
last week and found that the department had barely enough funds to carry
their own program this year. The
bridge is greatly favored by the Forestry Dept. in that it will open the vast
Phinney Creek area of federal timber and permit easy access for timber sales
No Federal Funds For Bridge
The ball now reverts to the
county commissioners, who have yet to initiate any sort of a program for
building the bridge from any funds.
will release much timber
Forest service officials at Portland estimate that approximately 20 million feet of
timber a year on sustained yield cutting will be the timber yield to come
across the proposed Skagit river bridge at the Dalles if the bridge is built within
the next few years. “. . . it appears that about 1½ billion
feet of National Forest timber might be beneficially affected by the proposed
bridge. Converted to sustained
allowable annual cut, this would amount to something in the neighborhood of
20 million feet per year.
Logging and Bridge
skagit is near
flood stage as rains continue
The Skagit river, swollen
by a heavy deluge of rainfall last night, is expected to reach a flood crest
of near 21 feet some time tonight, according to information from the Skagit
County Engineers office. Twenty-one feet is considered a danger point as far
as possible dike break-throughs are concerned, but is several feet short of
the height necessary before water would spill over the levees. . . .
The flood crest, which takes approximately 20 hours to reach Mount Vernon from the upper stretches of the Skagit and tributary rivers, is expected here this
evening and the river is steadily rising in the meantime. . . . Dams on
the Skagit river have opened flood gates to
let excessive water escape.
Expected to crest near 21 feet (Moose Hall gage which
would be 1 foot over flood stage at current gage). 21 feet
considered danger point for dike breaks but several feet short of going
Dams on Skagit opened
peak is reached in skagit river
The Skagit river is subsiding somewhat today after
reaching a peak of 20 feet nine inches at 10:45 p.m. last night, according to
an official checks made by the county engineer’s office. At 7:15 o’clock this
morning the height registered the same but a slight drop has been noted since
that time. No immediate threat of a flood of dangerous proportions was
forecast although fear was expressed that dikes will be considerably weakened
if the heavy flow of water continues for the next three or four weeks as
predicted by weather bureau authorities. Farms Isolated A few farms
were isolated by waters of the river going over its banks at points where no
dikes exist. East of Mount Vernon in the Nookachamps creek area, the Skagit flooded roads providing ingress and egress and
farmers were using rowboats to reach higher land. . . . South of
here in the Fir
Island district high
waters broke a dike that has been recently repaired and isolated at least one
farm family and led to the closing of a farm road leading south from the
Fir-Conway bridge. . . .
Flood Barely Over Flood Stage
20.9 would be 28.9 at current gage.
Main concern was dikes being weakened if high water
Fir Island dike broke.
buller warns of high water peril in skagit runoff
This is no time to be sitting complacently behind the Skagit river dikes saying “It can’t happen here,”
Richard Buller, long-time resident of the upper valley, told a Daily Herald
reporter yesterday. Dropping in to the Herald office on a visit to Mount Vernon, Buller
said: “There are the makings of another flood like that in 1894, up there in
the Cascades.” “There is more snow in the high Cascades right now than for
any of the 58 years I have been at Marblemount,” Buller said, “and a series
of hot days could duplicate the result of a similar situation in ‘94.” . .
. The upper valley, Buller said, has had only three days of warm
weather so far this spring and up until the past week end snow thawed on the
mountains part of the day and froze again at night.
Local Resident Fears Snowpack
More snow then in last 58 years.
Do the two Seattle City Light dams on the Skagit river
assure us that days of Skagit
Valley floods are at an
end? That is a question of vital interest to all residents of the
valley. It can be answered conditionally, especially since the recent
freshets that sent the river to within two feet of the level of grave
The provisional answer is that the dams can be, as they
have been in the last two weeks, used to hold down flood crests. There
is as yet no assurance that they will prove adequate to prevent serous flood
rise in all cases, particularly in November or December. . . .
But the City Light dams definitely have forestalled serous flood conditions
in the current freshet period. At its crest last week, the Skagit
reached 21 feet at Mt.
Vernon, two feet below
the point at which danger of dikes being overflowed or washed out would
become serious, Walberg reports. “Ross dam was used to hold back water
for ten days,” Walberg told the Argus Wednesday. “It helped keep the
river level down by possibly several feet.” As the Seattle Times
reported Sunday from an interview with City Light officials, “if the 567,000
acre feet (of freshet waters purposely held behind Ross dam) had been added
to the water flowing down the lower Skagit river, after its junction with the
Sauk near Rockport, the lower valley probably would be having its flood
problem right now,” The lower valley needs to continue to maintain its
dikes, and to watch them carefully at freshet time, but at least it has some
protection that it once did not have.
The flood event referenced in this editorial is not
recorded by the Corps or USGS.
Dikes would break when river reached 23 feet at Mt. Vernon??
Important to remember is that was 23 feet at the downtown Mt. Vernon
gage at the Moose Hall. Would be approximately 31 feet at current
location. 31 ft carries approximately 90,000 cfs.
567,000 acre feet held for ten days.
flood work snarl blamed on official
In a telephone conversation with the Daily Herald today,
Mrs. Austin Lytle blamed County Commissioner Lowell Hughes for the possible
“slow down” of work on the proposed Burlington Bend project following the
awarding by a superior court jury of $1800 for property along that section of
the river owned by the Lytles. “We agreed to a settlement out of court for a
figure only half as much as the jury awarded us,” Mrs. Lytle said, “but
Commissioner Hughes refused and brought it to court instead.” . . . Commissioner
Hughes stated yesterday that the county had no funds to pay the $1800 for the
portion of the Lytle property and that the proposed flood control project
might be slowed down until some method of raising the necessary money could
be worked out.
Burlington Bend Project Moving Slowly
Austin Lytle family stated county refused to pay them for
their land. Commissioner says no funds available.
ask permission to dam brown slough
Three Skagit county dike districts and a drainage district
have asked permission of the army engineers to build a dike across Brown’s
slough, a quarter-mile from the north fork of the Skagit river. . . .
(Brown’s slough is one of a number of waterways across the Skagit
river delta. The proposed dike and dam across the slough would be located a
short distance south of the North Fork
bridge, just off the LaConner-Conway road. There are at present dikes on
either side of the slough. It is proposed to connect these and prevent flow
of flood water through the slough.)
Dike District Wanted To Build Dike
Across Brown’s Slough
skagit river threatening utopia farms –
farmers as aid to stem erosion; wolfe farm loses land
With the Skagit river threatening to break through into
the low area near Minkler Lake, East of Sedro-Woolley, Utopia district
farmers this week were signing a petition to be presented members of the
Skagit Conservation district tonight, July 29, at Mt. Vernon.
Five acres owned by Chris Wolfe have been washed away, taking with it Wolfe’s
barn, chicken house and woodshed. The river threatened his home, which was
emptied of all household goods and moved to higher ground. Wolfe is now
living with his daughter on the Burmaster road.
Skagit Threatening To Run Into Minkler Lake
Utopia farmland gone. Five acres washed away.
Wolfe’s barn and chicken house washed into river.
Skagit bridge may
require bond issue – sedro-woolley C. of C. host to county bridge
enthusiasts; span at dalles discussed; financing is main problem; bond issue
A bond issue, which may or may not have to be voted by Skagit
county residents, was cited Wednesday night as the one means of financing
construction of a bridge across the Skagit river between Concrete and the Dalles. With the
entire delegation attending the dinner meeting at the Sedro-Woolley city hall
agreeing that the bridge is vitally needed to assure this county’s future
support from logging the number one problem became that of finances. .
. . Lowell Hughes, chairman of the board of commissioners, said that
the county has been attempting to get estimates of what a bridge will
actually cost, and also surveys of where it should be built. He said that a
man is expected to be in the county within “about two weeks” to make the
survey. The commissioners said that when the figures are drawn up, the
request for issuing the bonds will be put on the November ballot. . .
. As the discussion closed, the group tossed he problem of building the
bridge in the laps of the county commissioners and they in turn flipped it
back to the voters, who they say must be educated to the fact that the bridge
will save taxpayers money in the long run, and will ultimately increase the
income of the entire county. H. O. Walberg, county engineer, and State
Senator Jess Sapp eliminated the possibilities of financial aid from the U.
S. Forestry service or the state highway department. . . . Sapp
said that since there is no state highway which runs to the point where the
bridge is tentatively scheduled to be built, the state cannot lend assistance
Dalles Bridge Proposal
County Commissioners decided to have voters decide if
bridge should be built.
No aid from state or federal government because road was
not a state highway.
sterling hill dynamited to get rock for Burlington bend
A distant, powerful explosion felt in several
Sedro-Woolley homes last Saturday noon made available more than 30,000 yards
of rock for flood control revetment work on the Skagit river near Burlington. An 11-ton
charge of dynamite, buried deep in the southeast end of Sterling Hill about
two and a half miles west of this city lifted thousands of pounds of rock and
pebbles into the air and poured up dust, When the scene cleared, several
acres of a farm in front of the hill were littered with rocks ranging from
pebbles to pieces 10 feet thick and 15 feet long. . . . The
combined forces of the U.S. Army Engineers, state and Skagit
county officials are carrying out the $175,000 flood control project.
Sterling Hill Mined For Burlington Bend
Rock Revetment Project
Rock for revetment project came from Sterling Hill.
Editorial—A Bridge for the Upper Skagit
The voters of Skagit County will have an important issue
to decide for themselves at the November 2 election—whether or not to
authorize a $700,000 bond issue for the construction of a bridge across the
upper Skagit River in the vicinity of Concrete and of the necessary
connecting roads on the south bank. . . . Three principal claims
are made for this bridge. From the standpoint of the taxpayers’
pocketbook, it would eliminate the present costly operation of two or three
county-owned ferries. These ferries are not only an expense but also a
worry to county officials because of the danger of an accident, especially
during the high water periods. A second claim for benefits from this
bridge is that it would open to logging timer areas . . . A third claim is
that the lands south of the river may be suitable for further settling.
The Dalles Bridge
Area would have been timbered anyway however, logs would
have been sent to Snohomish County mills instead of Skagit’s.
proposed span at concrete would tap timber
For 15 years the subject of a bridge across the Skagit river at Concrete had been discussed and
proposed with little success resulting. This year, however, voters throughout
the county will have a chance to vote on a proposition of bonding the county
for a total of $700,000 with which to construct the span and access roads
leading thereto. . . . The annual tax levy to be collected by the
county over a 10-year period, has been set at between 2½ and 3 mills, which
will provide sufficient funds to carry out the program. . . . The
bridge will open up a loop highway from the eastern end of Skagit
county to Darrington and the Snohomish valley, in addition to providing an
outlet for the largest single stand of virgin timber in the nation, soon to
be placed on sale by the U.S. Forestry service. The huge timber stand is
located on the slopes of Finney Creek. Building of the bridge will eliminate
three of the county’s most costly ferries at a saving of from $30,000 to
$60,000 a year. . . . In January of this year a committee of leaders
from every town in the county got together to prepare a county-wide road and
bridge program for presentation to the Legislative Interim committee. In
doing so they designated the Skagit river
bridge at Concrete as the second most need project of the county. The number
one project was, of course, the Cascade highway.
To Go To Vote Of The People To Vote On Dalles Bridge
County to bond $700,000 for cost of bridge.
Bridge would save County 30-60,000 a year on ferry expense.
Bridge second on list of public works projects right
behind Cascade Highway.
what about this upper skagit
Advertisement for Bridge
Army Engineers to Resurvey Skagit River Basin
Valley Considered For Flood Control Aid, Cain Reports
Valleys flood dangers and current
problems are going to be resurveyed immediately by the U.S. Army Engineers,
Sen. Harry P. Cain disclosed here Tuesday afternoon in an Argus
interview. . . . “The committee adopted the necessary resolution
a week ago Friday (Sept. 24),” Sen. Cain told the Argus. This was done
with a view to translating the recommendations from the engineers into
necessary authorizations. In the recent past the U.S. Engineers have
largely kept hands off the Skagit basin
because they had been told that the state was going to pay for whatever work
going to pay for whatever work was needed???
Bridge Issue Before County At
Official election notice for a $700,000 bond issue for the purpose of building
a bridge and access roads across the Skagit river in the vicinity of Concrete
has been published by Skagit county
commissioners with a special vote to be held at the November 2 general
election. . . . The bridge will open up a loop highway from the
eastern end of Skagit county to Darrington
and the Snohomish valley, in addition to providing an outlet for the largest
single stand of virgin timber in the nation, soon to be placed on sale by the
U. S. Forestry service. The huge timber stand is located on the slopes
of Finney creek. . . . The upper Skagit
bridge proposition has been a problem of the county for the past 15
years. In January of this year a committee of leaders from every town
in the county got together to prepare a county-wide road and bridge program
for presentation the legislative Interim Committee. In doing so they
designated the Skagit river bridge at
Concrete as the second most needed project of the county. The number
one project was, of course, the Cascade highway.
Bridge allowed “largest stand of virgin timber in the
nation” to be harvested.
Bridge project was #2 on County list. #1 was the Cascade Highway.
danger to school children who cross skagit on ferries cited
Those who know the Skagit
river and have seen it a raging torrent of swollen flood waters each year can
readily appreciate the danger faced by the 60 school children who must rely
upon the ferries 180 days out of the year to further their education. . .
. That is one of the strong arguments being voiced today in favor of
constructing a bridge across the river near Concrete which decision will be
up to the voters of the county during the general election in November. . .
. Scow on Cables The typical river ferry is a steel or wooden
scow with railings on each side and a hinged ramp at each end. They operate
solely by the power of the water against the side of the scow, the scow being
swung on cables that permit it to be set at an angle against the current
which pushes the scow sideways to the opposite landing. The entire mechanism
hangs from a rolling trolley riding a taut cable stretching across the river
from high poles on each side. Due to water variation, landings at each side
of the river are impossible to maintain at one level. As a result the cars
attempting to board or leave the ferry scow have considerable difficulty. . .
. The ferries operating two shifts of 9 hours each, or 18 hours a day.
However, they must be closed down in high water due to danger of floating
debris and the extra strain on cables, and in low water because of
insufficient draft to float the scows. Also in low water the natural eddies
at each landing tend to swing the ferry scows around and send them into the
current with the cables on the lower side of the scow. On several occasions this
has resulted in capsizing the ferry. Slip Away From Landing Other
hazards of ferry operation include the danger of the ferry slipping away from
the landing as the cars attempt to drive aboard– the ferry moves out and
drops the car into the river. Other instances have found cars sliding off the
opposite end of the scow in loading. . . . The proposed Skagit river bridge in the vicinity of Concrete will
immediately eliminate two of the four ferries, and will eliminate a third
within the very short time needed to build a few miles of access road. These
ferries will be the Faber ferry, the Concrete ferry and the Presentine ferry
(Birdsview). . . . The Faber ferry has capsized in the past. It and
others have broken loose, Aprons of the ferries have dropped down and caused
the ferry to submerge. Many of these occurred while vehicles and passengers
were aboard. . . . At high water periods, the upper Skagit
is swollen and violent. Crossing is very dangerous and at those times the
ferry does not run. Last school year this happen on a total of 15 days.
Ferries Dangerous – Dalles Bridge Needed To Replace Them
Ferries have capsized several times in the past.
Cars have slipped off the ferries into the river.
Faber, Concrete and Presentine (Birdsview) Ferries would
plan conference on flood control
Congressman Henry M. Jackson will confer next week with
Col. L. B. Hewitt, district head of the U. S. Army Engineers, in an effort to
work out a flood control problem along the Swinomish slough near the Dorsey
farm west of here, it was announced today. . . . Extensive dredging of
the slough has resulted in wearing away of the dikes, making break-throughs
possible. One such break-through occurred in that area last year, flooding
several acres of farm land under two to three feet of salt water.
Dredging Swinomish Slough Damaging
Dredging resulted in wearing away of dikes, allowing
bridge is vital, chamber is told
. . . McIntyre pointed out the between 3½ and 4
billion feet of virgin timber is contained in the Sauk and Suiattle
watersheds which would naturally be diverted through Skagit county if a
bridge were constructed across the river. He also pointed to the eventual
savings to the county through the elimination of ferries and also the
elimination of danger to school children who now must depend upon the ferries
to get them to their classrooms. “Approximately a 2½ or 3 mill levy is all
that would be necessary,” the speaker asserted, “to raise the $700,000
required to construct the span.” . . .
Dalles Bridge Needed To Get To 3.5 to 4 Billion
Feet of Virgin Timber
Timber driving force to build Dalles bridge.
proposed span key to vast timber resources, report
The southern half of Skagit
county above Sedro-Woolley contains untold wealth in timber. For many years
logs have been rolling into Skagit county
mills from this area by truck and rail, but a point has now been reached
where it is no long practical to bring logs to the river or try to run a
railroad up the south side of the river as has been done in the past. The
logging of today is by motor trucks. . . . According to the U. S. forestry department all the timber in
the Finney creek, Mill creak, Pressentin and Quartz creek areas would
logically move down the Skagit valley with a
crossing at Concrete. Timber also could move in a downhill route from the
Suiattle river district. . . . The Finney creek timber has not yet been
placed on sale by the forestry department, but will be highly sought by
timber operators when bids are called in the next few years.
Dalles Bridge Needed To Get To Untold Wealth In
Without bridge, timber would be sent to Snohomish County
bridge is key to timber
The southern half of Skagit
county above Sedro-Woolley contains untold wealth in timber. For many years
logs have been rolling into Skagit county mills from this area by truck and
rail, but a point has now been reached when it is no longer practical to
bring logs to the river or try to run a railroad up the south side of the
river as has been done in the past. The logging of today is by motor truck.
One of the largest remaining stands of virgin timber in the nation today lies
on the slopes of Phinney Creek, just south of the Skagit
river at Concrete. This timber is within Skagit
county yet a great portion of this wealth will be taken out through Snohomish
county, to Snohomish county mills if no access is provided by a bridge to the
railroad lines on the north side of the river.
Bridge is key to timber resource. Logging changed
from floating logs down the river to “motor truck”. Bridge would keep timber
from being sent to Snohomish
skagit hits election jackpot
river bridge, one of the most hoped-for issues, passed by an overwhelming
vote of 11,618 for to 3,185 against. A.B.
Wiseman, county commissioner for this district after Jan. 1, 1949, will have
the responsibility of carrying out the county’s request for a bridge across
the Skagit River near Concrete. The voters approved a $700,000 bond issue
to provide funds for the new bridge and the necessary roads for connecting
south of the river roads with its approaches.
Bridge Bonds Approved
Well, there is your
bridge. Handed to you on a silver
platter by the people of Skagit county. All you had to do to get it was work
yourself into alternate states of fury and despair over a period of eighteen
or twenty years before someone noticed that a bad situation wasn’t getting
any better, that our wails in the wilderness were of some distress. It takes a lot of time to convince a few
stubborn men who don’t want to understand, a very short while to convince a lot
of common folks. So, when you get around
to watching the final steel go into place on that bridge across the Skagit
river, make sure that on the inevitable plaque that goes with it’s price
there are no dedications to glory for the few men whose duty it was to make
the plans and buy the steel. Instead,
let’s have a simple wording of honesty and truth – “This bridge built by the
people of Skagit
County.” I wager folks will come for miles around to
see that plaque alone, it would be so unusual.
Bridge To Be Built
The building of any bridge be it
physical or philosophical begins with a concept and must be followed by
tenacity and advocacy. The building of
the upriver bridge is a tribute to the upriver community and the people of Skagit County.
no decision on bridge
river bridge to be built near this community is still the center of a lot of
argument on site. So much so that the
county has made a request for a geologist from the state department of
highways to make a preliminary survey and settle the question. The big problem between the two suitable
sites, at Faber ferry and at The
Dalles, is the stretch of road between them. The
Dalles is a perfect site for a short span; the Faber
site must have a long span with only one solid rock footing. . . .
Forestry officials, engineers and now the state geologists have been
called into consultation to solve the riddle.
The main problem is about 2,000 feet of clay slide and a few other
portions of underlying clay strata over which a road must pass.
Geologist To Determine Location of
Geology was what determined the
location of the bridge between Faber and The Dalles sites.
set hearings on river projects
. . . The Skagit river hearing will be held in Mount Vernon at the
court house April 12 at 10 a.m. . . . The Skagit
river improvements to be discussed are all in the delta area. They include
completion of a training dike and work on the river at the Skagit
city bar to increase the available depth. Already completed are regulating
dikes and a mattress still near the head of the north fork, a dike at the
mouth of the south fork and the closing of subsidiary channels at the delta.
Skagit River Public Hearing
Work proposed on “training levees” on Fir Island.
Public Hearing on River Work Set
U.S. Engineers Seek Local Opinion On
Navigation Main Topic
The hearing it is understood, is called primarily to poll
local opinion as to the projects the engineers propose, principally dealing
with improving navigation on the lower Skagit River.
“The existing project provides for channel stabilization
through the delta by means of a dike at the mouth of the South fork;
regulating dikes and a mattress sill near the head of North fork; and closing
subsidiary channels at the delta; and for increasing the available depth at Skagit
City bar by dredging and by training walls. The length of the section
included in the project is 9 ½ miles. The mattress sill, closing dikes,
and 10,450 feet of training dike at dike at the mouth of the South fork are
completed. The training dike was completed to a length 5,550 feet less
than project length. The work at Skagit City
bar awaits the local cooperation required by the act of 2 March 1919.
obtained from Corps files show that the dredging at Skagit City
bar did not happen as they never got local cooperation from the farmers.
If the upper Skagit can stave
off another “valley authority” on the Skagit
river, it will only be because we were warned soon enough to start working
against it. For several years now army
engineers have been making surveys of possible power sites and flood control
projects that could make the valley above Concrete just a serious of
ponds. We know that the people of the
valley don’t want such a thing to happen, but we know also that unless some
definite and concerted action is taken to make this fact known we will one of
these days find a construction crew on the river banks making ready to put an
end to all the hopes and aspirations of those who live in and love this green
valley of ours. Too much of the
propaganda that calls for despoiling a river is from government agencies
themselves whose never-ending greed fattens on more and more “projects”
whether needed or not. Power needs are
growing, but until present sources are developed to the utmost, no new dams
are needed. If upper streams can be
utilized, a Faber dam will never be needed for its avowed purpose of flood
control. Take warning from the
happenings in other quiet valleys. The
Skagit is being lined up for sacrifice.
Opposed to More Dams
Didn’t want the upper valley to
become a “series of ponds.”
faber dam in news again as
Rumblings are again being
heard from the federal government on more hydro-electric and flood control
projects on the Skagit river. Army Engineers, who have been conducting
surveys on the Skagit, Cascade, Sauk and Baker rivers for several years, are
now nearing the final stages of their work and plan to have their report
ready next year. Under consideration
by the Army Engineers are four dams: One on the Baker river; one on the main
channel of the Skagit at Faber; one on the
lower Sauk river and another on the lower Cascade river. They are now seeking information from the
state game department as to possible effect on the river’s system of fish
runs. . . . The Game Commission has issued a statement
that “Part of the Skagit river already is
blocked by power developments, so we must be on our guard to protect the
great fish runs on this stream. The Skagit is famed the breadth of our land for its fine
fishing, being worth a tremendous amount to us as a tourist and recreation
asset for this reason.” The proposed
dam on the Baker river (above Lake Shannon) would back water into the canyon above
Baker Lake, inundating much valuable recreational area around the present Baker Lake shore line.
Faber and Baker Dam & Fish
Opposition by state to either
Faber or Baker due to impacts on fish runs.
See 2/25/49 USFW
letter to Corps (re dams at Faber & Sauk sites); 2/23/49 Letter
to Corps from WDOG (re
impacts of dam construction); and 3/4/49 Letter
to Corps from WDOF (re
impacts of dam construction). See also
Historical Record of Fish Related Issues (1897-1969).
many fish caught final day; 2,500
total for season
More than 2,500 steelhead probably were caught in the Skagit river during the recent season, reports fro
local fishing guides and Game Protector Vern Gee indicate. Five guides
reported a total of 1,117 steelhead taken during the season. . .
. Local fishermen who do not use guides would account for enough to
push the total well over the 2,500 mark. . . . Howard Miller
caught an eight-pound female steelhead near Day Creek. At least 13 fish
were taken at Gillam Creek Thursday.
Fish Issue -- Steelhead Abundant
2,500 steelhead….how many in 2004?
The local legend around Howard Miller is that he made two
casts with a fly rod and caught two steelhead and went home.
A county surveying crew yesterday began work on the first major
step toward construction of the $700,000 Skagit river bridge which voters
have authorized for the upper Skagit valley,
County Engineer H. O. Walberg said this morning. . . . Prior to the
beginning of the actual survey, county commissioners, engineers and up-river
residents made several field trips into the area under consideration to gain
preliminary information on the problems involved in construction of the
Surveying Work Begins On Dalles Bridge
Voters Give Okay on Bond Issue
flood warning setup dissolved
Skagit county’s flood-control warning system, developed by the county
planning commission three years ago, is being abandoned; it was learned here
today. . . . The flood control warning system was coordinated by the
weather bureau in Seattle who received periodic reports from the gauge
readings in the upper Skagit and readings at Skagit river dams, and then
relayed warnings to the county engineer’s office here when floods or high
water are apparent.
Flood Early Warning System
See 11/22/45 Courier Times article.
Skagit’s Runoff To be Heavy, Say City
Snow 16 Per Cent Heavier On Upper River
Than in 1948 Record Fall
An all-time record spring runoff is expected from the
upper Skagit river for the April-August period, I.L. Cottom, Assistant
superintendent of Seattle’s
City Light, announced here this week. Snow surveys indicate 16 per cent
more snow, on a water content basis, than last spring when a 40-year runoff
record was broken. A prepared statement from City Light promised as
much control of spring and high water as possible from its Diablo and Ross
dams, but advised “construction of and a high degree of maintenance of diking
facilities” on the lower river. . . . During the period May 24 to
June 12, 1948, the natural flow of the Skagit
river at Diablo dam maintained daily flows ranging from 16,000 cfs to 32,000
cfs which is the highest spring runoff of record at that point on the
river. Due to the large storage capacity of the Ross Reservoir, the
City of /Seattle
was able to store the greatest amount of the runoff and the flows actually
released at Diablo dam during this period ranged between 2,500 and 8,000
cfs. Actually 78 percent of the total runoff at Diablo was impounded in
the City’s reservoirs during this period, which reduced the average flow in
the lower reaches of the river by 18,000 cfs.
Between June 9 and June 12 the Skagit river was at or near
the 20-foot stage at the county gage at Mt. Vernon,
and reached an observed peak stage of 20.3 feet at 7:15 p.m. on June
10. The operations of the City’s dams at this time resulted in a net
reduction of 211,800 cfs in the natural flow of the river. Assuming
that one-third of this flow, had there been no regulation, would have been
absorbed in valley and channel storage such as the Nookachamps basin, there
would still have been 14,000 cfs greater flow in the Skagit at Mt. Vernon,
which would have resulted in a river stage of 22.3 feet instead of the 20.3
feet which actually occurred. . . . The city of Seattle in
describing the effect of the operation of its reservoirs on the flows in the
lower river does not wish to convey a false feeling of security against
floods in the lower Skagit valley. The most damaging floods have practically
always occurred during the winter period from the middle of October to the
middle of March. It is desired to emphasize the fact that during winter
floods, such as occurred in February 1932 and December 1921, the contribution
of the upper Skagit river to this type of
flood ranges between 15 and 18 percent. Therefore, even complete
regulation of flow in the upper Skagit could
only effect peak flows in the lower river by 15 to 18 percent. Until
such time as large storage facilities are available on the lower tributaries
of the river, such as the Cascade, Sauk and Baker rivers, the possibility of
damaging floods in the lower Skagit valley
will continue to exist. . . . This statement by the city of
Seattle, department of lighting, has been issued in order to inform the
residents of the Skagit river valley of the flood
control service that has been and will continue to be rendered by the city in
the operation of its hydro-electric projects and reservoirs located on
the upper reaches of the Skagit River.
The entire statement was printed in the article.
Looks like they were using Diablo for flood control in 1949. Why can’t
they do it now?
78% of total runoff at Diablo was impounded!!
flood warning employees
flood control warning system, which had been developed by the county planning
council three years ago, is now being abandoned. The two men employed by the county during
three months of the year to check weather gauges in the mountains on the
upper Skagit have been notified that their
services will no longer be required. The
action was taken by the board of county commissioners who feel that this
service is already being duplicated by other agencies such as the power
projects on the river, and that there are adequate means of warning in case
of flood danger.
Flood Early Warning System
Not needed say County Commissioners.
dams holding back skagit flood threat
The information from the
surveys completed through the joint efforts of the U.S. Geological Survey,
the Dominion Water and Power Bureau of Canada, the Forest Service and Soil
Conservation Dept. and City of Seattle
has provided much valuable information in anticipating flood conditions. Last year from May 24 to June 12, the
natural flow of the Skagit
River at Diablo Dam
maintained a flow of from 16,000 to 32,000 cubic feet per second, which is
the highest spring runoff of record at that point. This year, due to the large storage
capacity of the Ross Dam, the greatest amount of the runoff has been held and
flows actually released at Diablo now range between 2,500 and 8,000 cu. ft.
per second. Actually 78 percent of the
total runoff was impounded. . . . In their
statement concerning the possibility of floods, City Light reminds residents
of the valley that floods are still possible despite all precautions if
weather conditions bring on unusual runoffs.
However, most serious floods occur during the winter period from
October to March. . . . Flow of the Baker River
by the Puget Sound Power dam is also controlled as far as possible by river
conditions and release of water from all dams are timed through close
cooperation of the power dispatchers.
Operation of Baker, Diablo and
river remains high as warm
The hot days of the past week
have had the Skagit River up near flood stage several times, but at
latest reports, the gauge at Mount
Vernon is still below the “danger point” of 21
feet. Ferries at Faber and Rockport
have been operating only when a drop in the river gave show of safety, but
school children are being forced to miss their last week of school. . . .
Last season’s high point
was 20.8 feet. The highest yet so far
has been 19.4 and the river has been dropping since this point was reached
River stayed high but did not
reach flood stage.
city light co. will double
Present capacity of the City
Light company’s plant is to be more than doubled with the installation of
three 90,000 kilowatt generators by the Westinghouse corporation, it was
announced this week. . . . For operation of the generators the dam has
been heightened to 540 feet and a reservoir containing 1,400,000 acre-feet of
water, extending almost to the Canadian border is being built up.
Seattle City Light/Ross Dam
Three new generators increase
production of power. Ross dam 540 feet
against more skagit
M. Hurley, Jr. chief of the stream improvement division of the state
fisheries department spoke at a Salmon bake at Hope Island
on Sunday, opposing the full development of power in the state as the end of
the fish runs of the state. He spoke
against the CVA in that it would place jurisdiction of all state fisheries in
hands of a federal board. He also
spoke at length on the Skagit river’s proposed Faber and Sauk dams, which he
said “would reduce the Skagit to relative
insignificance as a producer of migratory fish.” He urged that the people go slowly in
approving legislation that will destroy all fishing resources in favor of
State Opposes Sauk and Faber Dams
Dams would destroy salmon runs.
ruby dam dedicated in ceremony
At formal ceremonies, covered
by radio and newsreels the City Light Department today accepted the completed
Ross Dam from the contractors General, Shea and Co. The construction company have been cleaning
up their operations at the dam site for the past month in preparation for
turning the dam over to City Light.
The huge dam has been built so that if future needs require it can be
raised in height by superimposing another face over the present
Ruby/Ross Dam Completed
twelve year construction job of
building ross dam completed last week
The construction of Ross Dam
was one of the most difficult and spectacular jobs in the world. The granite cliffs rise for hundreds of
feet from the river gorge. Every
pathway, building site and toehold for man or machine had to be blasted from
the rock. Construction
of the first step of the dam began in September 1937 and was completed March
11, 1940. Work was resumed in February
of 1943 and carried through until completion on August 18th,
1949. Cost of building the dam was
History of Ross Dam Construction
Construction of the first step of the dam began in
September 1937 and was completed March 11, 1940. Work was resumed in February of 1943 and
carried through until completion on August 18th, 1949. Cost of building the dam was approximately
$28,000,000. Construction of the
entire Seattle City Light project began in 1919. NOTE: Notice how narrow the canyon is in the
harry devin was city’s historian,
Harry L. Devin, born in Ottumwa, Ohio,
June 16, 1862, came to Sedro in 1889 on a visit and liked the locale so well
that the following year he brought his family here and established his
home. He opened a real estate office in 1890 on the bank of the Skagit river and in 1892 was appointed postmaster,
later resigning in favor of the Woolley postmaster. He spent two years
in the Klondike prospecting and upon his return spent nine months in
managing the Silver Butte mine. He came back to Sedro-Woolley, and in
1902 entered the real estate business with C.J. Wicker, forming the Skagit
Realty Co. Mr. Devin had a major part in every important development
that has taken place in Sedro-Woolley since its founding and his reference
library was the haven of every person wishing facts of figures pertaining to
Sedro-Woolley. He was official weather recorder here for forth-three
H. L. Devin
He is directly responsible for passing on the “Indian
Legend” of the 1815 flood event.
“Our fellow townsman, Mr. H.L. Devin, was some years ago
engaged in surveying in the upper valley in the vicinity of Baker
Lake. Being detained over night in an Indian camp, he was
told the history of a great flood. They said that about 60 years ago a
great slide had choked up the narrow outlet of the Baker valley and that the
water accumulated in the basin thus formed until the whole valley was an
immense lake, full 80 feet deep. By this time the imprisoned waters had
burst through the dam and in a few hours this great volume of water was precipitated
into the Skagit flooding the whole
valley. The water marks still plainly visible high up the sides of the
Baker valley and the great variation in those upon the trees as you come down
the Skagit would indicate that this was the
real cause of that terrible disaster." (Reprinted from the
Skagit County Times, Serving Sedro and Woolley, Skagit County Washington,
Thursday, November 19, 1896.))
The Skagit county
commissioners, who have been keeping rather quiet on the upper Skagit bridge
due to lack of any specific progress to report, this week heaved a sigh of
relief and sent out word that they have hired a bridge engineer to draw plans
and specifications and to act as consultant on the project. The new engineer is Cecil Arnold of Seattle, and he is expected to report in Skagit county immediately to begin work. It is the intention of the county
commissioners to be ready to let contracts by March 1, 1950.
Construction to start by March
Worst Flood In Years Passes Crest; Falling
The Skagit River, a few days ago a peaceful stream, turned
into a raging torrent last night, spilling over its banks in several spots,
marooning many families and causing untold damage to property and loss to
livestock. The flood, which reached its peak here at 4:40 a.m., this
morning with a crest of 26.5 feet, was the worst in Skagit County
for the past 27 years. . . . Yesterday afternoon and last night
the entire community of Hamilton
was cut off from the outside world and travel to the eastern end of the
county is still at a standstill. Most of the families living in and
around the community of around 200 persons, left their homes before the water
spilled through the streets to a height of about two feet. Amphibious
ducks, operated by private individuals and members of the state patrol,
evacuated approximately 50 marooned persons there during the evening.
This morning hundreds of acres of land in the Fir
Island district near Conway are under water
due to at least three breaks in river dikes. . . A trestle and
165 feet of the Great Northern’s main line railroad track just south of
Conway was washed out during the evening… . . . The main business
district of Mount Vernon was seriously threatened during the night but flood
crest stopped two feet short of the top of the dike. . . .
Greatest flood damage in Skagit County was centered today in the Conway
district where workers were unable to stop a dike breaking through at Fisher’s
slough and above Conway on the North Fork.
NOVEMBER 28, 1949 FLOOD
USGS 154,000 cfs Concrete (40.8), 149,000 cfs
Sedro-Woolley, 114,000 cfs Mt.
Worst flood since 1921. Hamilton underwater. East end of
County at a standstill. Water 2 feet deep in Hamilton.
One has to wonder if getting rid of the Flood Early
Warning System was a good idea.
Fir Island levees fail. Conway levees fail.
Water stopped 2 feet short of going into downtown Mt. Vernon.
Conway levees failed at Fisher’s Slough.
Travel Restored To All Main Roads In County
Rapidly receding flood waters in the Skagit
Valley today spelled an end to the
emergency conditions that have existed since the Skagit River
poured over its banks Sunday evening and broke through dikes south of here
yesterday. There is still plenty of flood water covering valuable
farmlands, particularly in the Conway-Fir
Island region, but the
threat of further damage is over. The river, which had risen to a
height of 26.5 early Monday morning, was down to 19.8 feet at 10 o’clock
today. . . . The break in the dike at Fisher’s Slough which had
threatened the town of Conway
saw concerted action on the part of volunteer workers last night but the
waters of the river have receded so rapidly that further damage in that area
is not expected. . . . Most of the damage appeared to be to
roadways, farm buildings and to winter crops, the latter mainly seed crops in
the Fir Island district. . . .
Skagit County Commissioner Lowell Hughes reported today that the county’s
Lyman ferry “completely disappeared” during the flood. . . .
Travel between Marblemount and Newhalem is still blocked off. . .
. Residents of Hamilton,
who were perhaps the hardest hit by the flood waters, were busy today
cleaning out their homes of the mud and debris that rode into the city on the
crest of the flood waters, estimated from two to two and a half feet.
River Drops 6ft in 24 hours
Most farm damage was to seed crops on Fir Island.
Lyman ferry completely disappeared. Travel between
Marblemount and Newhalem still blocked off.
Water 2 to 2½ feet deep in Hamilton.
Quick River Rise Surprised Residents, But Cut
The sudden flood, which subsided almost as quickly as it
rose, deposited less silt than most residents had feared and damage to homes
was in most cases confined to water-soaking, he said. Mr. Williamson
found new evidences of structural damage on a survey tour of the Hamilton flood area
yesterday. . . . On his trip yesterday Mr. Williamson found 35
homes in Hamilton
had been flooded, some to a depth of five feet, but the water had subsided
and most families are now moving back and going about the job of cleaning up
the flood debris and damage.
35 Homes In Hamilton Damaged
Some homes had 5 feet of water in them. These must
have been homes closest to the river as previous reports stated water only 2
½ feet in downtown Hamilton.
flood clean-up is continuing
Residents of Hamilton were beginning to settle down to normal
living again after spending the past two days shoveling mud and muck from
their stores and residents in the wake of Skagit county’s near-disastrous
flood of the weekend. . . . No definite estimate on the amount of
damage to Skagit county as a result of the
flood has been made yet . . . Quoted figures of two million dollars is
believed to be high. . . .Water is still on many acres of farmland
today in the Conway area but inundated lands
in the area east are rapidly becoming free of water again as the Skagit river continues to drop.
Hamilton Cleans Up
Reported damage figure of 2,000,000 said to be too high
for County. Water still in Conway
County Keeps Weather Eye on Hills
As Skagit Flood Cleanup Progresses
Fresh Rise In River Not Held Cause For Fear
An anxious Skagit county kept its eye on the Skagit river late Thursday as word came from the state
highway department of new snow and winds in the Baker area. But
although the river had climbed to 19.6 feet early Friday the weather bureau’s
flood warning office told the county engineer’s office there appeared “no
cause for alarm.” The river started falling at Concrete at midnight.
Snow was falling high in the mountains. Engineer Hjalmar Walberg said a
20.8 foot peak was expected about 2 p.m. Friday, a level that ordinarily
causes no trouble.
November 28, 1949 Flood Event
USGS records show 40.8 ft at Concrete and 34.21 feet at Mt. Vernon.
Why is there a 14 ft difference between the downtown gage and the new gage?
NOTE: This article was cut-off during
copying. Need to obtain full article.
Serious Damage During Devastating Skagit
Burlington, due to a number of reasons, was
one of the few towns in the Skagit
Valley suffering only
minor damage last Sunday night and Monday during one of the worst floods in
over 25 years. Lyman, Hamilton,
Mount Vernon, Conway, and
Stanwood communities suffered the worst. The factors that saved both
Burlington and Sedro-Woolley, five miles to the east from the fate of other
towns were first, that the Seattle City Light retained hundreds of tons of
water behind their dams up-river, second, dikes breaking near Conway relieved
the pressure here, . . . The high stage came about 4:30 Monday morning
with a crest at near the 26 foot mark. . . .
November 28, 1949 Flood
Worst flood in 25 years.
Ross and Diablo used as flood control.
26 ft at Moose Lodge gage in Mt. Vernon.
USGS reports 34.2 ft at current gage. 114,000 cfs. 8 ft drop in
elevation btwn gages.
Ross Dam Plays Large Part in
Seattle City Light’s Ross Dam on the upper Skagit played a large part in keeping the serious flood
from being even worse, E. R. Hoffman, Lighting Superintendent, said
today. The valves in the big dam were closed Wednesday, November 23,
and no water from the entire upper river was allowed to pass. From Thursday
midnight until Sunday midnight enough water was held behind the dam to cover
116,000 acres of land to a depth of one foot. At the crest of the flood
approximately 42,600 cubic feet of water were impounded every second.
Elevation of Ross
Lake, nearly 20 miles
long, came up ten feet, and is now forty feet higher than anticipated for
this time of year. On November 28 there was still enough storage space
to impound another 200,000 acre feet of water behind Ross Dam. The
valves were still closed and no water was getting past the dam. The
flood crest at Concrete, first large town below Ross Dam, reached 149,000
cubic feet per second on Sunday, November 27. This would have been
disastrously worse except for the water held behind Ross Dam. The crest
passed Mt. Vernon early Monday morning, November
28, and the entire river was reported to be receding. “Ross Dam does a
great deal to keep floods on the Skagit from
being much worse”, Hoffman said. “However, it cannot be expected that a
dam so far up the river will prevent floods altogether. “Only about
one-fourth of the river lies above Ross Dam, and the tributary streams
feeding the upper fourth are a good deal smaller than the streams below the
November 28, 1949 Flood
No water allowed out of “entire upper river” from Thursday
midnight (November 24th) until Sunday midnight (November 27th).
Ross Lake came up ten feet and is now forty
feet higher than anticipated for this time of year. 40 feet???
Another 200,000 acre foot still available.
One fourth of river above Ross.
river floods in quick rise after storm
freak storm with heavy rain and
high wind sets off first serious flood since 1921 – damage heavy in rockport
and hamilton; no property hit here
Heavy rains and
unseasonably warm temperatures combined with other factors over the week end
in causing the first serious flood on the Skagit
river in many years. Although the
river was high for several days, the rapid rise of the river Saturday night
and Sunday morning caught most residents living near the river by surprise. The real cause of the flood was the
unusually heavy rainfall during the week, when 11 inches fell
on the upper Skagit between Tuesday and
Sunday. During the storm
that hit here Saturday, four inches of rain fell in 24
hours. This, combined with
a Chinook wind and the already bank-full river, brought the water up at a
rapid rate starting early Saturday evening.
By 2:00 a.m. Sunday water had started to enter the town of Hamilton and by morning
there was from two to four feet of water over the entire town. . . .
All traffic to the upper valley was closed Sunday by water over the
road at Lyman. Before that a few cars
had been able to get thru by detouring Hamilton
by way of the Lyman Timber Co. road to Grandy Lake. . . .
The fact that water was low behind Ross dam kept the flood from being
much worse. The valves of the dam were
closed Wednesday and the dam was able to hold back all water here until the
flood crest had passed. At the crest
of the flood 42,600 cubic feet of water were impounded every second. The lake, over 20 miles long, came up ten
and is now forty feet higher than anticipated for this time of the year. Monday there was still enough storage space
to impound another 200,000 acre feet of water. No water is being released.
NOVEMBER 28, 1949 FLOOD
USGS 154,000 cfs Concrete
(40.8), 149,000 cfs Sedro-Woolley, 114,000 cfs Mt.
Vernon (34.21) This was more water
than the two 1990 floods and the first 1995 flood events at Concrete.
Hamilton under 2-4 feet of water. Crofoot addition had water up within a few
inches of the bank, but no homes were touched. Edgar Gates’ barn was isolated by a virtual
The fact that water
was low behind Ross dam kept the flood from being much worse.
The valves of the
dam were closed Wednesday and the dam
was able to hold back all water here until the flood crest had passed. At the crest of the flood 42,600 cubic feet
of water were impounded every second.
The lake, over 20 miles long, came up ten and is now forty feet higher
than anticipated for this time of the year.
The Baker river dam
here held back the rising Baker river until late Saturday evening, when
storage capacity was reached. The
water was then released at a minimum rate, keeping the lake level at full
hamilton hard hit by flood
The town of Hamilton took the brunt of the damage on
the upriver flood water. Residents of
that city were awakened about 2:00 a.m. to watch the waters rise in the west
end of town. Soon the water was
advancing almost as fast as a person could walk down the main highway through
town and by morning almost the entire flat had been covered. The rise continued until there was from two
to four feet of water over the entire area.
All homes and business houses suffered damage as silt and dampness
took toll against furniture, store stocks and buildings.
All homes and businesses
reports of upper valley
City Light railroad washed
out beneath the tracks at Bacon and Damnation Creeks on the upper Skagit. The
highway at Damnation creek also went out.
Road closed. Cascade road
washed out east of Marblemount bridge.
Small span to Fish Hatchery washed away. Railroad right-of-way and highway damage in
vicinity of Hamilton. Highway open. Lyman ferry completely missing. Much damage to homes and the school and
business building at Hamilton. . . .
Puget Sound Power & Light high line damaged by river near Lyman.
Upriver Damage Reported
Again nature has proved that
in spite of the best laid plans of mice and men, she stills holds the power
to make her own rules when it comes to storms and floods. Storms are one thing no one claims to
control, but floods are too often dabbed “impossible” after a few man-made
projects are erected to end them. Last
weekend proved that when a combination of weather conditions occur at the
same time there is no holding back of high water. Luckily these coincidences are spaced many
years apart. So we are again warned to
respect the Skagit
River, and to make our
future plans accordingly. It is not
1949 Flood Event
Skagit not yet
captive. “floods are too often dabbed
“impossible” after a few man-made projects are erected to end them.”
emergency aid given flood victims
– residents “mop up”; flood loss set at two million dollars
Emergency assistance today was being given flood victims
of Hamilton and the up-river district whose
homes and household belongings were damaged or destroyed in one of the worst
floods in Skagit county history. Hamilton residents were
shoveling silt, mud and sand from their homes and were trying to salvage
damaged household goods and merchandise in their places of businesses.
. . . Ranked the worst since 1921 this week’s flood caused an estimated
$2 million loss of property, land, homes, household goods, clothing and food,
the highest loss of any flood in Skagit
county history. Sedro-Woolley residents assert that the floods of 1932,
1921, 1909 and 1897 were worse for this city, but for upriver residents, this
week ranked with the 1909 and 1921 disasters. Hamilton, floodswept
community of 290 residents, is now cleaning up. . . . Thirty-five
houses sustained flood damage, the Red Cross said. . . .
Hamilton, Rockport and farmers in the Utopia and Lyman-Hamilton district
suffered most loss and damage from the floodwaters. . . .
Estimates of damage in the community of Hamilton
alone ran into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. . . . Hamilton school had more
than three feet of water in the first floor rooms and cafeteria and six feet
in the boiler room. . . . Most Sedro-Woolley residents were slow
in learning that the flood was coming. . . . In the afternoon the
water spread out in the low area north of the disposal grounds and by evening
crossed the lower extension of what would be Township street. By nightfall
water covered the southern extension of Third street halting traffic to Clear Lake. The Nookachamps also
backed up inundating all the flat, low country in its vicinity. By
Sunday night many communities were isolated, including parts of the Sterling district. . . . The water rose
along both sides of lower Third street (highway 1-A) and came to within a few
feet of the Union Oil bulk station and drove farmers south of town from their
homes. . . . Local residents, who have seen earlier floods,
frequently commented that this one was not as bad as those of earlier
days. . . . Sunday and Monday’s flood had remarkable similarity
to the 1909 disaster which occurred almost on exactly the same days, and in
the same way. This weeks flood followed a heavy downpour of rain last
weekend and a warm Chinook wind which melted snow in the hills and brought
down a deluge into the mainstream of the Skagit
river. The 1909 flood started after rains and a Chinook wind on Sunday
and Monday, November 28 and 29, 1909 according to a copy of the
Herald-Recorder, Skagit county’s official newspaper of that day, which was
printed at Hamilton.
NOVEMBER 28, 1949 FLOOD
USGS 154,000 cfs Concrete (40.8), 149,000 cfs Sedro
Woolley, 114,000 cfs (34.2) Mt.
“highest loss of any flood in history” The 1917
flood caused more damages in the county. See 1/10/18 MVH
Hamilton had 290 residents. 35 homes
Hamilton school had more than 3 ft.
of water in it.
Need to find where was Sedro-Woolley’s garbage dump.
Water came within a few feet of the Union Oil bulk
Rain on snow event.
damage high in hamilton, utopia districts
Total loss caused by the flood has not been determined but
a partial list of estimated damages and loss in Hamilton, the surrounding area and in the
Utopia district indicates the final totals will run into high figures.
Hi Lead Tavern, $4,500; Cascade Grocery $6,000, . . . Mrs. Cecil
McDougle, Courier-Times correspondent, reports the Matson family, who lives
on the peninsula known as the “Island” between Lyman and Hamilton, lost five
cows and cannot find a sixth.
Lots of livestock lost upriver.
“Island”. Cockerham Island??
ross dam lessens flood damage
Seattle City Light’s Ross Dam in the upper Skagit played a
large part in keeping the serious flow from begin even worse, E. R. Hoffman,
Lighting Superintendent, reports. The valves in the big dam were closed
Wednesday, Nov. 23, and no water from the entire upper river was allowed to
Thursday midnight until Sunday midnight enough water was held behind the dam
to cover 116,000 acres of land to a depth of one foot. At the crest of
the flood approximately 42,600 cubic feet of water were impounded every
second. Elevation of Ross
Lake, nearly 20 miles
long, came up ten feet, and is now forty feet higher than anticipated for
this time of year. On November 28 there was still enough storage space
to impound another 200,000 acre feet of water behind Ross Dam. The valves
were still closed and no water was getting past the dam. . . .
The flood crest at Concrete, a large town below Ross Dam crested at 149,000
cubic feet per second on Sunday, Nov. 27. This would have been disastrously
worse except for the water held behind Ross Dam. The crest passed Mt. Vernon
early Monday morning, Nov. 28 and the entire river was reported to be
receding. “Ross Dam does a great deal to keep floods on the Skagit from being much worse.” Hoffman said. “However,
it cannot be expected that a dam so far up the river will prevent floods
altogether. . . . The flood was caused by heavy rains and
unseasonable warm temperatures that melted snow already in the mountains.
From Tuesday through Sunday approximately 11 inches of rain fell on the upper
Skagit. About 4 inches of rain fell in
24 hours on Saturday and one and one-half inches on Sunday. Maximum
temperatures were from 45 to 58 degrees, melting an undetermined amount of
Ross Dam Flood Control
No water passed out of Ross during 1949 flood event.
42,600 cfs held back from crest of flood.
USGS reports crest at Concrete at 154,000 cfs and 149,000
cfs at Sedro-Woolley.
Flood was rain on snow event. 11 inches of rain in 5
days. 4 inches in 24 hours.
mother child rescued as they hang
Mrs. Albert Watson yesterday described a hectic night
which she and her three-year-old son, David Allen spent floating on
mattresses and finally hanging onto the rafters of their small frame house
near Rockport in the raging flood of Saturday and Sunday. . . .
“The baby and I were alone as my husband, A.L. Watson and our grown son had
been away working and couldn’t get back across the river, Mrs. Watson
said. “When the water backed up in Mosquito Slough Saturday night and
started to come in our house, I was scared,” the woman continued. “I
got up on a chair and then the baby and I stood on a dresser. Then I
piled one mattress on top of the other and we floated on them.” . .
. Mr. And Mrs. George Moses and their children, also residents of
Mosquito Flat, climbed into two dugout canoes, paddled into some trees where
they tied up, and spent the night with blankets over their heads.
Rockport House Floods
House next to Mosquito Slough.
Lived on Mosquito Flat.
things to be done (Editorial)
After all, it might have been far worse. No
irretrievable damage has been done. The thing to be done now is to
clean up, begin the work of repair, and proceed as though nothing had
happened. Skagit county has a glorious
future and not even extraordinary misfortune can set it back for any length
of time. The weak-kneed brothers will move out; those made of sterner
stuff will stay and reap the rewards of grit and energy. It is no time
for calamity howlers, and they should not be tolerated. Let them go
their way; their places will be filled by better men. No expense should
be spared to put the roads and bridges in as good and better condition than
they were in, before the freshet. If necessary, the taxpayers should
not hesitate to bond the county for any needed sum, and no man who has the
interests of his county at heart will balk at such a move. It is no
time for hysterics or petty politics—calm judgment, definiteness of purpose
and indefatigable and well directed energy must now be combined. (The
above editorial appeared in the Dec. 4, 1909 issue of “The Herald-Recorder,”
Skagit county’s official paper published at Hamilton, the week of the “big
Floods Shouldn’t Deter Development
Proceed as though nothing has happened.
No time for weak-kneed calamity howlers.
No time for hysterics or petty politics.
Calm judgment, definiteness of purpose and indefatigable
and well directed energy is what is needed.
organization Planned for future flood emergencies
The Skagit river raised four feet in the past 24 hours due
to torrential rains that fell last night but clearing and colder weather has
prevented any reoccurrence of the disastrous flood that struck the county last
week-end. Meanwhile it was announced that the Skagit
county board of county commissioners will set up an organization in the
immediate future to coordinate all activities in case of any emergency that
may arise because of flood conditions later on.
County To Plan For Flood
log jam breaks, pours tons of
debris on farm; railroad blocked
Railroad repair crews have been working sixteen hours a
day since last Thursday trying to clear the Northern Pacific track just back
of the Frank Oliver farm at Prairie, seven miles north of Sedro-Woolley, of
some ten feet of tangled logs, gravel and other debris which came crashing
down the mountainside sometime between six and nine o’clock that
evening. A huge log jam, apparently released by the recent heavy rains
and melted snow, suddenly broke loose far up the canyon above Heck Falls
about dusk last Thursday and, gaining momentum in the increased flow of water
below the falls, pummeled down into the valley, piled against and over the
top of the track for an estimated eight to eleven hundred feet and spilled
over valuable hay land on the Oliver farm.
Log Jam on NPRR Bridge
Prarie is located in the Samish River Basin.
Dike Leaders Rep. Jackson to meet
Want Action on Cleaning Out Lower
The group, formally organized Wednesday as Skagit River
Control association, will confer with the congressman at 9 a.m. at the city
hall as to immediate steps that may be taken to prevent a recurrence of the
recent near-disastrous flooding along the river. County and diking
commissioners agreed that the lower river bed has silted in until it takes
much less water in the stream than it did in former years to cause dike
breaks and overflows. . . . It appeared possible that Rep.
Jackson might be questioned also about withdrawal of army engineers from dike
repair work in recent days. One break in the dike along the North Fork was repaired but other work was called off
although there were at least two breaks across the river.
New Flood Association Formed
Recent near disastrous flooding?? This would be the
November 28, 1949 flood event which USGS says only had 114,000 cfs at Mt. Vernon.
Three levee breaks.
city to repair broken sewer outside
Immediate emergency steps to plug the damaged sewer line
that let Skagit flood waters back up into southwest Mt. Vernon
streets and yards are being taken. Investigations this week showed that
three sections of 30-inch tile between the city’s old sewerage pump station
and the accompanying “deep well” had collapsed. During the flood the
break was covered by flood waters some 19 feet deep.
See 10/16/47 article about dike commissioners concerns.
soil conservation office submits flood damage report
Seventy farm houses and buildings in Skagit county were
washed out or damaged severely by the Skagit
river flood November 27 through 29, Paul C. Dickey, district soil
conservationist reported this week. Cost of rehabilitating the
buildings was estimated at $160,000. The soil conservation office
estimated cost of all damage except crop losses due to the floods at
$806,965. . . .over-all loss caused by the flood to $1 million, Dickey
said. . . . 14,765 acres of land in the county were inundated during
the flood, and 2,700 feet of dikes were washed away. . . . “This flood
was caused chiefly by sudden and heavy rainfall, augmented by quick melting
of new snow on the mountain slopes. During the three days previous to
the flood moderate rains fell and to this was added a popularly reported four
inch precipitation during a 24 hour period on November 27 and 28. . .
. The peak flow of the Skagit river, according to the gauge at Mt. Vernon
was 132,000 cfs. This is the highest flood since 1921. The cause
of much of this flood damage is simply that the water rose to a greater
height than the farmers had prepared dikes for, and that too many of the
dikes were not of sufficient cross section to withstand a flood that remained
high on them for any considerable time. This was a quick flood.
Probably there would have been much greater break-through if the river had
remained high over an extended period. . . . Dikes should be
raised and greatly strengthened to prevent a recurrence of flooding that
might very easily be disastrous under conditions les fortunate than existed
Soil Conservation Flood Damage
Report on November 27-29 Flood
Damage figures would be approximately $1,240,310 for
building damage and $6,255,813 for overall damage in 2003 dollars.
USGS has this flood as having only 114,000 cfs at the Mt. Vernon
gage. It was the highest since 1921.
Levees neither high nor wide enough.
skagit river flood
damage is estimated at $306,965
Flood damages totaling $306,965 excluding crop losses
which might with other reported damages bring the total to over one million
dollars, were reported this week in a survey of the recent Skagit
river inundation by the soil conservation service. . . . Seventy farm
buildings were either washed out or severely damaged in the flood, according
to the SCS report, and 14,765 acres of land were inundated.
Fortunately, according to the survey, damage to the rich top soil in the
flooded areas was very minor and stream, bank and gully erosion was also
surprisingly small. The flood washed out 2,700 feet of dikes, destroyed
five bridges and made it necessary to rebuild three and a half miles of road,
the report states. The peak flow of the Skagit
reached 132,000 cfs, the highest since the flood of 1921.
70 Farm Buildings Damaged
14,765 acres inundated. 2,700 feet of dikes washed
out. 5 bridges destroyed. 3.5 miles of road to be rebuilt.
Peak flow 132,000 cfs is different then what USGS is
currently reporting for that flood.
Corps of Engineers 114,000 cfs
Dike Leaders Push For Early River
Insist North Fork Cutoff,
Dredging Are Flood Aids
Efforts to get the government to clear the channel of the
lower north fork of the Skagit river are going to be continued even though
hope for quick action was discouraged by officials who conferred in Mt. Vernon
Tuesday with the new Skagit River Control association. . . .
Hughes declared a dredge could cut a proposed shortcut channel for the mouth
of the North Fork at not too great
expense. The new channel, across the point toward Craft island would
shorten the river by about two miles “getting flood waters out into the Sound
just that much quicker,” Hughes explained. . . . Here for
Tuesday’s discussions, Col. Itschner said he believed the North
Fork cutoff was of such a size that it would have to be put
through as a new, rather than an emergency project and that would take
time. It would also require jetties at the mouth and regular
maintenance work, he said. Col. Itschner and Rep. Jackson said $60,000
was being requested for emergency dike raising at Milltown and dike and road
raising in the Dodge
The Corps of Engineers is all about “time”.
Levees to be raised.
flood damage estimated at over
Figures on flood damage from
the Skagit River’s recent rampage were released
yesterday by the soil conservation department, which estimated the total cost
at $306,965.00, excluding crop losses.
Their survey showed that seventy farm buildings were washed out or
badly damaged; 2,700 feet of dikes went out; five bridges were lost and three
and one-half miles of road was destroyed.
A total of 14,765 acres were inundated. The Skagit River reached its highest peak since
1921 with a flow of 132,000 cubic feet per second.
1949 Flood Damages
$300,000 would be $2,436,230 in
Also note change in cfs. USGS has flow at 154,000 cfs. CH first reported 154,000. Now 132,000. Damage figures should have been more if
flow was 154,000 cfs.
valley jolted by outbreak of
. . . Meanwhile the lower
valley was getting their share of the surplus water with the creeks between Minkler Lake and Cokedale over the highway and
traffic detoured over the new highway.
There was also water on the road between Lyman and Hamilton. Roads were open and passable in most places
today. The Samish river overflowed its
banks near Allen, flooding much of that area and water covered the fields
between Sedro-Woolley and Burlington
along the main highway.
Partial Article on Small Flood