Sioux City, IA flood, May 1892

AN AWFUL FLOOD TIDE

Sweeps Over Sioux City, Iowa, Drowning Many People.

FLOYD RIVER RISES SUDDENLY

And Inundates all the Low Portions of the City -- 8,000 People Driven From Their Homes and Depending Upon Soup Houses for Sustenance -- Thousands of Cattle Drowned.

OMAHA, NEB., May 18. - A special to the Bee from Sioux City, Iowa, says: A great flood disaster has overtaken Sioux City. This morning a great wave came down the Floyd river, which flows through the center of the city, and which was already swollen bank full. The wave came a few minutes after 7 o'clock.

Warning had been given but a short time before to the inhabitants of the lowlands, but only a few of them had been notified. The first intimation was a volume of water spreading over the banks to a depth of three feet and throwing a mist of foam from it. In a few minutes the water had risen above the first floors and several thousand fled in terror to the higher ground.

At least eleven people are drowned. The water rose eight feet in one hour and a half and from nine o'clock continued to rise steadily but not so rapidly. Probably 1,000 inhabitants of the city live on the low ground which is overflowed. So rapid was the rise of the tide that great numbers were unable to escape and the work of rescue engaged the energy of the people. At 12 o'clock eleven persons were reported drowned and there must be many others. The only names obtained so far are: Nellie West, child; Mrs. Louise Horner and two children.

At 10 o'clock the fire alarm was sounded to call out more workers. All the boats from the boat houses on the Sioux river had been brought in and are being used to save life and property.

The Missouri river is very high, and when the flood in the Floyd river struck it the water dammed up and rushed over the adjacent low grounds. The stock yards and packing houses were situated at the confluence of the two rivers and they were instantly inundated. About 2,000 head of live stock were drowned. Much dead stock has also been floating down the Floyd river.

The whole railroad yards and switching track district is under water and there has been immense damage to the round houses and railroad property. The round houses of the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha are damaged to the extent of $40,000. That road, the Illinois Central and Sioux City and Northern enter the city by the Floyd valley and all are stopped. Not a train left Sioux City to-day.

At 1 o'clock p. m. the water had reached to Jennings street on Fourth street. The Hotel Fowle and the Boston Investment Co.'s building are surrounded with water. The Union Depot was cut off at 9 o'clock.

It is estimated that 8,000 people have been driven from their homes. All business is suspended. The Chamber of Commerce organized this morning for relief work. Before noon the ladies had several soup and lunch houses opened for the flood sufferers. It is impossible yet to estimate the loss of property, but it will be large. There is only one telegraph wire working out of the city and that runs to Omaha. This makes it impossible to adequately tell the story of the flood.

The Wheeling Register, Wheeling, WV, 19 May 1892
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The following are the names of the drowned so far as ascertained:
NELLIE WEST and child.
MRS. LOUISE HORNER and two children.
Others are lost, but so great is the confusion and excitement it is almost impossible to ascertain anything definite.

The Kansas City Star, Kansas City, MO 18 May 1892
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PEOPLE WERE REPORTED DROWNED,

and there must be many others. The only names obtained so far are: Nellie West, a child; Mrs. Louise Horner and two children. At 10 o'clock a fire alarm was sounded to call out more workers. All the boats from boat houses on the Sioux River were brought in and are being used to save life and property. The Missouri River is very high, and when the Floyd River struck it the water dammed up and rushed over the adjacent low grounds. The stock yards and packing houses are situated at the confluence of the two rivers and they were instantly inundated. About 2,000 head of stock were drowned. Many numbers of dead stock have also been floating down the Floyd River. The whole railroad yards and switching tracks district is under water, and there had been immense damage done to roundhouses and railway property. Roundhouses of the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha are damaged to the extent of $40,000. That road, the Illinois Central and Sioux City and Northern enter the city by the Floyd Valley and all are stopped. No train has left Sioux City today. At 1 p. m. water had reached to Jennings street on Fourth street. Hotel Fowle and the Boston Investment Co's building are surrounded with water. The Union depot was cut off at 9 o'clock. It is estimated that 8,000 people have been driven from their homes. All business is suspended. The Chamber of Commerce organized this morning for relief work. Before nooon ladies had several soup and lunch houses opened for flood sufferers. It is impossible yet to estimate loss of proeprty but it will be large. There is only one telegraph wire working out of the city and that runs to Omaha. This makes it impossible to adequately tell the story of the flood.

LOSS OF LIFE GREAT.

OMAHA, Neb., May 18. - A special from Sioux City, Iowa, to the Bee, says the water is slowly receeding tonight. A citizens' meeting is organizing to provide several thousand people with shelter. Damage done to property will reach a million and a half. Loss to the Sioux City and Northern Railway will exceed $200,000. Several miles of cedar block paving has been washed out. At noon 350 people had registered for relief and applications had then only begun. Scenes along the verge of the waters were pitiful. Loss of life will be very large. Although it is difficult in this confusion to learn names. At Springdale, a suburb, a woman has stood in the second story of her house 900 yards out, holding her baby out of the waters and is still there at 9 o'clock tonight. Two men have alreadby been drowned in an attempt to rescue her. The difficulty has been a gale of wind which has been blowing great gusts all day. Houses are being broken up all the time. There are no electric lights as both plants are under water.

LATER - The loss of life has been much greater than at first reported. It will probably be twenty or twenty-five.

The Grand Forks Daily Herald, Grand Forks, ND, 19 May 1892