Mon, Feb. 17

Verde Heritage 1919: Jerome: Last Night's Storm was the Heaviest in Years.

"Snatched from its foundations by the raging torrent which roared down Deception Gulch last night, the home of E. B. Owens, a miner employed at the United Verde, was smashed into kindling less than a minute after Mrs. Owens and 5 small children had been rescued from the doomed structure by neighbors. The house and contents were completely demolished, and clothing worn by Mrs. Owens being all that was saved from the wreck."

"Within a few moments after the deluge which drenched the district began last night, the little stream which trickles through Deception Gulch became a devastating flood from 12 to 15 feet deep, which spilled through the channel with the speed of a mill race."

"QUICK WORK: Almost without warning the Owens home was encircled by the angry stream. Observing the danger of the inhabitants, Harry Kinsey and L. E. Jackson forced an entrance through the back of the house and carried out the children, assisted by Mrs. Owens. They had scarcely gained the safety of the hillside behind the house when with a rending crash of timbers, the structure toppled into the flood and was broken to bits. There was no opportunity to salvage anything of value. The children, who had gone to bed, were clad only in their night clothes. The father was on shift at the time."

"SEVEREST IN YEARS: The storm was one of the most severe that has visited the district in years. According to reports received today, the city did not receive the full force of the disturbance, which took the form of a cloudburst on Black Mesa. According to residents in that vicinity, the flood waters reached a higher level than was ever before recorded in Mescal Gulch. In Walnut Gulch, the flood level for hours was more than 18 feet above the bed of the canyon."

"ROADS WASHED OUT: The district is practically marooned at the present time. The road leading to Prescott is reported to be washed out in several places. Cars sent out this morning by the Union Stage line were unable to proceed more than a third of the way, and were compelled to return to the city. No washouts occurred on the U. V. & P. railroad."

"MINES ISOLATED: Communication with Verde Combination, Grand Island, and the Gadsden mines has been temporarily severed. Two bridges on the Verde Combination road went out when the flood was at its height. David Morgan, general manager of the company, this morning packed supplies to the mine on horses. For some days it will be necessary to transport ore and supplies to and from this property with horses and burros."

"At the curve of the gulch where the Gadsden road crosses, the highway is blocked with a hole approximately 30 feet deep. Several hundred feet of the roadway was undermined by the tearing waters. A half dozen washouts have destroyed the line of communication with the Grand Island."

"CAMP IN DARKNESS: Jerome was in darkness throughout the night. A half hour after the full fury of the storm broke, the lighting system was put out of commission by the electrical disturbance which accompanied the downpour. The circuit was not restored until 8:30 o'clock this morning."

(Verde Copper News; Jerome; Saturday, July 12, 1919; page 1.)

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