The Heppner Flood; 110 Years Ago On This Date

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 about as much water as you might see moving down the Willamette River here in Portland.

MarkFlood_Heppner1903

Here’s a great Wikipedia entry:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heppner_Flood_of_1903

In the early 1980s the Army Corps of Engineers finally constructed the Willow Creek Dam just above the town to alleviate any future flood threat.  It looks a little ominous just south of town in this photo:

800px-USACE_Willow_Creek_Dam_Oregon

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

15 Responses to The Heppner Flood; 110 Years Ago On This Date

  1. schmit44 says:

    6/16/2013 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    Warmest:
    High:98 at Rye Valley(I-84(2230 ft)
    Low: 67 at John Day River B(305 ft)

    Coldest:
    High:53 at Port Orford(0 ft)
    Low: 31 at CRANE PRAIRIE (5500 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 50 degrees
    NELSON (93/43 ) (2567 ft )
    MINAM LODGE-PORT (88/38) (3575 ft)

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.31″ at EW1556 Maupin(1910ft)

  2. Happy Fathers Day!

  3. schmit44 says:

    6/15/2013 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    Warmest:
    High:92 at JOHN DAY RIVER A( 400 ft) & DW0069 Ferndale(840 ft) & Pendleton /McKay(1100 ft)
    Low: 61 at EW1140 Umatilla(364 ft)

    Coldest:
    High:52 at YACHTS Yachats(82 ft)
    Low: 24 at CRANE PRAIRIE (5500 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 57 degrees
    FOSTER FLAT (83/26 ) (5000 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.21″ at EW1765 Mount Hoo(1542ft)
    0.16″ at KE7QYU-13 La Gra(2795ft)
    0.12″ at Hood River Airpo(630ft)
    0.11″ at MT. WILSON(4002ft)

  4. runrain says:

    Maybe a threat of thunderstorms on Tuesday?

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OR
      847 AM PDT SUN JUN 16 2013

      THE BEST THREAT FOR ANY CONVECTION FOR THE REGION DOES NOT ARRIVE UNTIL TUESDAY. MODELS ARE IN GOOD AGREEMENT BRINGING THE CENTER OF
      THE LOW INTO CENTRAL OREGON BY TUESDAY…BRINGING THE MAIN COLD POOL ONSHORE. THIS SHOULD INITIATE A DECENT THREAT FOR THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS THE CASCADES. UPPER LEVEL FLOW TURNS MORE S-SE LATE TUESDAY…
      ALLOWING ANY THUNDERSTORMS OVER THE CASCADES TO DRIFT ACROSS THE VALLEY. LIFTED INDICES NEAR -1/-2 ARE POSSIBLE AGAIN FOR WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING AS THE CENTER OF THE LOW STATIONS ITSELF RIGHT
      OVER THE FORECAST AREA. /27

    • runrain says:

      I really like…THAT!

  5. schmit44 says:

    6/14/2013 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    Warmest:
    High:85 at AGNESS2( 247 ft) & ILLINOIS VALLEY(1389 ft)
    Low: 58 at ECHO(683 ft)

    Coldest:
    High:45 at MT. HOWARD(7910 ft)
    Low: 19 at KIRK (4519 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 51 degrees
    FOSTER FLAT (71/20 ) (5000 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.58″ at KD7SYS-1 Dallas(413ft)
    0.36″ at Corvallis Munici(246ft)
    0.26″ at Detroit Lake(1675ft)
    0.26″ at Astoria Regional(10ft)

  6. Sifton says:

    Indian karma?? They knew better of that area………

  7. Ken 500ft.(S. Salem) says:

    Three years in a row

  8. Tom Hiller says:

    Please re-check your history. There was no dam south of Heppner in 1903. Perhaps you are referring to the fact that as the torrents of water came down out of the hills south of Heppner, they brought debris which was caught on fences and businesses that were built over Willow Creek on the south end of town. Eventually, as the water built up behind this debris dam, it broke loose and caused the damage and the loss of life in Heppner and down stream.

  9. gidrons says:

    That was quick thinking by the two residents of Heppner, who rode downstream outracing the flood to warn other towns.

  10. Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls @ 4200') says:

    Yesterday there was a TORNADO!! Yes, a “tornado” in OREGON!!! omg we need to stop this Global Warming!!!!

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