Heppner flood
The Heppner Flood of 1903 was a major flash flood along Willow Creek responsible for destroying a large portion of Heppner, Oregon, United States, on June 14, 1903. With a death toll of 247 people, it remains the deadliest natural disaster in Oregon, and the second deadliest flash flood in the entire United States, behind the 1889 Johnstown Flood and ahead of the 1972 Black Hills Flood. The flood caused over $600,000 in damage.
After an exceptionally dry spring, strong thunderstorms moved over the Heppner area on June 14, 1903. Torrential rain and hail began falling on the watersheds of Willow Creek and two of its largest tributaries, Balm Fork and Hinton Creek, by 16:30 PDT. The region's arid climate and little vegetation coupled with the ground already being wet from a storm three days earlier caused very little water to be absorbed by the soil, and soon the streams were flooding. Within fifteen minutes after the rain began to fall, water rushed down the streams (mainly the Balm Fork), towards Heppner. A steam laundry building on the southern edge of Heppner built across Willow Creek acted as a dam when the water arrived, failing under the stress several minutes later. This sent a 15-to-50-foot (5 to 15 m) wall of water cascading down Willow Creek that quickly reduced many of Heppner's structures to rubble. Some structures were ripped off their foundations and floated downstream. At its peak, over 36,000 cubic feet per second (1,000 m3/s) of water raced down Willow Creek, more than the average flow of the much larger Willamette River to the west. Many people were able to escape to higher ground, but 247—nearly a quarter of Heppner's population at the time—died. The waters finally receded around an hour later. Numerous houses in Heppner were destroyed, and around 140 total structures, about one-third of Heppner, were washed away. Heppner's population did not completely recover to pre-1903 levels for several decades.
After the flood inundated Heppner, two of its residents, Les Matlock and Bruce Kelly, rode on horseback to warn the cities of Lexington and Ione, 9 and 18 miles (14 and 29 km) downstream, respectively. The flood washed through Lexington at about 19:00, just before they arrived, destroying several buildings. Matlock and Kelly continued north to Ione, overtaking the flood and warning the bewildered residents to evacuate. No one was killed in Ione or Lexington. However, the floodwaters washed raw sewage from Heppner downstream, contaminating wells in both Lexington and Ione. As a result, at least 18 people died from typhoid fever over the next several months.
The flood led to flood control studies in 1962, 1965, and 1979. The Willow Creek Dam was completed in 1983 to prevent such a flood in the future. It is the first major roller-compacted concrete dam.
Pendleton, Oregon photographer Walter S. Bowman captured images of the aftermath.

This is an excerpt from the article Heppner flood from the Wikipedia free encyclopedia. A list of authors is available at Wikipedia.
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Heppner Flood of 1903 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Heppner flood of 1903 was a major flash flood along Willow Creek responsible for destroying a large portion of Heppner, Oregon, United States, on June ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heppner_Flood_of_1903
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Flash flood devastates Oregon town — History.com This Day in ...
Before the flood, extremely hard rain and hail came down in the Blue Mountains, which rise above Heppner. Reports say that the storm may have lasted only an ...
www.history.com/this-day-in-history/flash-flood-devastates-oregon-town
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America's deadliest flash flood happened in Heppner, Oregon
Apr 19, 2010 ... America's deadliest natural flash flood happened in Heppner. Tiny Willow Creek became a wall of water, swept away a third of the town and ...
www.offbeatoregon.com/H1004c_HeppnerFlood.html
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Heppner flood of 1903 | Oregon Encyclopedia - Oregon History and ...
In the rolling wheat fields of north-central Oregon's Morrow County lies the city of Heppner. Willow Creek meanders through the center of town, a stream that ...
www.oregonencyclopedia.org/entry/view/heppner_flood/
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Heppner Flood of 1903 | Heppner Chamber of Commerce
For more information, please contact the Flood Committee at 676-5407 ... It had been a day of rest in the prosperous community of Heppner, Morrow County, ...
www.heppnerchamber.com/flood1903
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Controversial Willow Creek Dam, built to prevent repeat of deadly ...
Jul 24, 2011 ... With record-setting high water this past spring, "we'd have had a monster flood," said Heppner Fire Chief Rusty Estes, without the ...
www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2011/07/controversial_dam_built_to_prevent_repeat_of_deadly_1903_flood_in_heppner_saves_the_day.html
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University of Washington Press - Books - Calamity
Calamity. The Heppner flood of 1903. Joann Green Byrd. $24.95 paperback ( 9780295989419) Add to Cart; hardcover not available. Published: August 2009 ...
www.washington.edu/uwpress/search/books/BYRHEP.html
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Calamity: Joann Green Byrd: 9780295989419: Amazon.com: Books
"Calmity: The Heppner flood of 1903" is a sweeping and gripping account of how an entire town faced disaster together. Characters... real human beings lost in ...
www.amazon.com/Calamity-Joann-Green-Byrd/dp/0295989416
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Calamity: Timeless lessons from the 1903 Heppner Flood | Crosscut ...
Oct 16, 2009 ... The author of a new book on Oregon's little-remembered disaster finds some enduring truths while researching the tragedy.
crosscut.com/2009/10/16/history/19303/Calamity-Timeless-lessons-from-1903-Heppner-Flood/
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Heppner, Oregon - Wikipedia, the free…
The city of Heppner is the county seat of Morrow County, Oregon, United States. The population was 1,291 at the 2010 census. Heppner is part of the Pendleton ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heppner,_Oregon
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Heppner flood in science
Heppner Flood of 1903 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Heppner flood of 1903 was a major flash flood along Willow Creek responsible for destroying a .... Seattle, Washington: University of Washington Press.
University of Washington Press - Books - Calamity
Calamity. The Heppner flood of 1903. Joann Green Byrd. $24.95 paperback ( 9780295989419) Add to Cart; hardcover not available. Published: August 2009 ...
Heppner flood of 1903 | Oregon Encyclopedia - Oregon History and ...
In the rolling wheat fields of north-central Oregon's Morrow County lies the city of Heppner. Willow Creek meanders through the center of town, a stream that ...
Books | 'Calamity: The Heppner Flood of 1903': a deadly deluge in a ...
Nov 29, 2009 ... University of Washington Press, 256 pp., $22.50 ... Like many calamities, Byrd notes in "Calamity: The Heppner flood of 1903," no one thing ...
Controversial Willow Creek Dam, built to prevent repeat of deadly ...
Jul 24, 2011 ... Many of the victims are buried in the Heppner Masonic Cemetery to the right ... The 1903 flash flood killed roughly a fifth of Heppner's townspeople. .... tsunami oregon state police oregon state university pacific northwest news ...
CALAMITY HEPPNER FLOOD OF 1903: John Hopkins University ...
AbeBooks.com: CALAMITY Heppner flood OF 1903: Brand New.
Calamity: The Heppner Flood of 1903 by Joann Green ... - AbeBooks
AbeBooks.com: Calamity: The Heppner flood of 1903. ... Published by University of Washington Press. ISBN 10: 0295989416 / ISBN 13: 9780295989419.
Calamity: Timeless lessons from the 1903 Heppner Flood | Crosscut ...
Oct 16, 2009 ... The Heppner flood is the most deadly natural disaster in Northwest ... The Heppner flood of 1903, published in August by the University of ...
Calamity: The Heppner Flood of 1903 by Joann ... - Powell's Books
June 14, 1903, was a typical, hot Sunday in Heppner, a small farm town in ... University of Washington Press; Subject: Floods - Oregon - Heppner - History ...
Calamity: Joann Green Byrd: 9780295989419: Amazon.com: Books
---Gerald Baldasty, professor of communication, University of Washington, and ... "Calmity: The Heppner flood of 1903" is a sweeping and gripping account of ...
Books on the term Heppner flood
Calamity: The Heppner Flood of 1903
Calamity: The Heppner Flood of 1903
Joann Green Byrd, 2009
More than 200 people died and much of the town was destroyed. Byrd describes the flood and its aftermath, and tells the history of the individuals involved.
People of the Flood (Ark Chronicles 2)
People of the Flood (Ark Chronicles 2)
Vaughn Heppner, 2010
They try to tame a world, but fail to tame their hearts. Eight terrified men and women, four families, survive the raging Deluge. They land on an empty Earth, with strange winds that howl across the desolation of the world. Every thought should focus on survival. But the passions suppressed in the Ark now boil into feuds that pass on to their child...
United States Congressional Serial Set
United States Congressional Serial Set
1952
Heppner flood-CONTROL PROJECT 590. Project description—This project was previously recommended in a report entitled, “Report on Survey for Flood Control, Willow Creek, Oreg.,” dated December 26, 1945. The plan of improvement ...
Calamity
Calamity
Joann Green Byrd, 2009
June 14, 1903, was a typical, hot Sunday in Heppner, a small farm town in northeastern Oregon. People went to church, ate dinner, and relaxed with family and friends. But late that afternoon, calamity struck when a violent thunderstorm brought heavy rain and hail to the mountains and bare hills south of town. When the fierce downpour reached Heppne...
Water-supply Paper
Water-supply Paper
1910
The Heppner flood of 1903, on Willow Creek, Oregon, destroyed a hundred lives and changed the appearance of the entire valley through which it flowed; but the waters were swallowed by Columbia River with hardly a ripple on its surface.
Congressional edition
Congressional edition
United States. Congress, 1934
The largest flood of record occurred on February 6, 1907. when a peak discharge of 22,800 second-feet was reached. This flood ... As a nearby instance of floods due to such " cloudbursts " the Heppner flood of 1903 may be cited. That flood is  ...
Water-supply and Irrigation Papers of the United States ...
Water-supply and Irrigation Papers of the United States ...
1906
Special Commission on Flood Conditions of Genesee River, 1905, pp. ... 118, 119 Grand River, Mich., discharge of and flood on, at Grand Rapids, March and April. ... &57, 385 Heppner, Oreg., discharge of Willow Creek at, June 14, 1903.
The Oregon Companion: An Historical Gazetteer of the Useful, the Curious, and the Arcane
The Oregon Companion: An Historical Gazetteer of the Useful, the Curious, and the Arcane
Richard H. Engeman, 2009
“[A] heck of a lot of fun to read…full of photographs that aren’t the usual suspects you see when you pick up a book abut Oregon history.” (The Register-Guard)“Native Oregonians and new web foots alike will find fascinating facts about their state.” (Bloom)The rare photographs alone make this book worth the purchase price and I found myself learnin...
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Blog posts on the term
Heppner flood
The Heppner Flood; 110 Years Ago On This Date | FOX 12 Weather Blog
Today is the anniversary of Oregon's deadliest weather disaster, the Heppner Flash Flood. 247 people died in just minutes as a dam broke just south of the town on June 14th, 1903. A wall of water quickly raced through, leveling buildings and carrying lives and property north. The small Willow Creek suddenly (and briefly) carried…
fox12weather.wordpress.com/2013/06/14/the-heppner-flood-110-years-ago-on-this-date/
Byrd’s ‘Calamity’ details Heppner flood - Spokesman.com - Aug. 30, 2009
Joann Green Byrd, a Spokane Daily Chronicle reporter and editor in the 1960s and 1970s, has just published a book about one of the Northwest’s deadliest natural disasters. “Calamity: The Heppner flood of 1903” (University of Washington Press) tells the tale of the disastrous flood that killed 225 people after a cloudburst washed out a debris dam.
www.spokesman.com/stories/2009/aug/30/byrds-calamity-details-heppner-flood/
Video: Joann Green Byrd discusses 'Calamity: The Heppner Flood of 1903' | OregonLive.com
Joann Green Byrd discusses her book about the Heppner flood of 1903 on a Seattle TV show. Byrd was a journalist for the Washington Post and spent years researching the deadly flood.
www.oregonlive.com/books/index.ssf/2010/02/post_13.html
Devastation in the aftermath of the June 14, 1903 Heppner flood | Gerry Frank's Oregon | Oregon Guide Book
oregonguidebook.com/featured-slider/oregon-five/
You’re invited to Author’s Hour tapings: The Heppner Flood, Stevens Pass Avalanche and Tim Egan on the Big Burn :: The Capitol Record | News, background and notes on Washington state government.
If you like natural disasters, read books, or have dreamed of being part of a taped studio audience: You’re invited to the following Author’s Hour interviews at our home-away-from home, the Bellevue King County Library. Join host Terry Tazioli, ask the author a question and enjoy.
capitolrecord.tvw.org/2010/02/youre-invited-to-authors-hour-tapings-the-heppner-flood-stevens-pass-avalanche-and-tim-egan-on-the-big-burn/
Aftermath of Heppner flood 1903 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
On a Sunday afternoon in June, 1903, the little town of Heppner Oregon was largely wiped out by a flash flood. Nearly 300 people drowned, many were women and children. To the left the UPRR depot can be seen in the distance. My family lived in the depot in the 1950s and 60s.
www.flickr.com/photos/larrynjill/5430422676/
Heppner, OR Flood, Jun 1903 | GenDisasters ... Genealogy in Tragedy, Disasters, Fires, Floods
TOWN WIPED OUT. Heffner,[sic] Oregon, Swept Out Of Existence By A Deluge. read more »
www3.gendisasters.com/oregon/15121/heppner-or-flood-jun-1903
Improving Education: Flash Floods Hit the Northwest
 7 AM Friday Update: Forced by an upper level trough, heavy convective showers are now moving through western WA (see radar). Should continue through the morning and will dry out by mid-afternoon.
routedesoie.blogspot.com/2012/07/flash-floods-hit-northwest.html
Cliff Mass Weather Blog: Eastside Thunderstorms and Lightning
Yesterday, residents of eastern Oregon and Washington was provided with a great show of lightning, thunder, heavy rain and strong winds. The cause? A line of strong thundershowers that moved northward out of California and Nevada during the early afternoon, strengthening during the later afternoon and evening.
cliffmass.blogspot.com/2012/04/eastside-thunderstorms-and-lightning.html
June 14, 1903: Flash Flood Devastates Heppner, Oregon
portland.daveknows.org/2011/06/14/june-14-1903-flash-flood-devastates-heppner-oregon/
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