Clifton and Pacolet, SC Cloudburst Causes Flooding, June 1903
CLOUDBURST SWEEPS TOWNS; THIRTY KILLED.
PACOLET AND CLIFTON, S. C., CARRIED AWAY IN TORRENT.
WATERS RUSH DOWN VALLEY, CARRYING AWAY MILLS, BRIDGES, AND COTTON OPERATIVES' DWELLINGS.
Spartanburg, S. C., June 6. -- Pacolet and Clifton, in this county, where are located some of the greatest manufacturing plants in the Southern States, have been swept away, at least thirty persons have been drowned, and tremendous damage has been done to manufacturing establishments as a result of a terrific cloudburst that broke over this section between midnight and dawn to-day. The storm settled over Spartanburg late last night, and the flood swept away the dams, causing the whole valley to be submerged by a whirling stream of water.
The great overflow from river and creek is still rising, in many cases the water in Pacolet having reached a height above the roofs of the houses, only a chimney here and there being left to show where once stood a prosperous milling village. Mill No. 1 has been washed away, Mill No. 2 is destroyed, while the third is in imminent danger of going at any moment. The dams of all three mills have been swept away, and through the great gaps in them the water is rushing into the valley beyond.
At Clifton, also in this county, where the great Clifton Mills Nos. 1, 2, and 3 are situated, great damage has been wrought, and further reports may show that the loss there is just as great, if not greater, than at Pacolet. President TWICHELL of the Clifton Mills says that the reports received by him indicate that No. 3 has been wrecked and that the other two mills are greatly damaged. He also says that he understands there has been great loss of life and that several of the giant warehouses near the mills have been swept away.
The exact number of the dead it is impossible to ascertain. First reports were that fifty persons were lost at Clifton and twenty-five at Pacolet. Six bodies were seen floating near each other in the stream at one time, and others are being reported at short intervals. What the property loss will reach it is impossible to say, but that it will be a figure considerably in excess of $2,000,000 is conceded. A partial list of the victims at Clifton is as follows:
MRS. AUGUSTUS CALVERT and two children.
MISS LIZZIE CALVERT.
MR. ELDREN and wife.
MR. HALL and eight children.
MRS. B. F. FINLEY.
MRS. S. B. JOHNSON and four children.
MRS. MAGGIE KIRBY.
MRS. JOHN OWENS, and four children.
Three children of MRS. WILLIAMS.
MRS. LONG, wife of Garland.
MISS FLETA GOSSA.
ROBERT FINLEY, and family, and their five boarders, names unknown.
SAMUEL SWANIGAN and wife.
The ill-fated Pacolet cotton mills were the heaviest property losers, President VICTOR MONTGOMERY estimating the damage to the plant at $1,250,000. About 1,200 operatives in the mills are thrown out of work there, and within a few days will be in need of daily bread.
Continued on Page 2.