11 thoughts on “Vanport Flood, 1948

  1. Memorial Day, 1948 was warm & sunny, inviting most Vanport residents to head for the beach, a lake park, the Zoo or simply have a picnic away from home, potentially saving numerous lives had families remained at home when the Columbia River’s dikes gave way. Although damage to the defense homes was severe, loss of lives and injuries was minimal. Members of our Boy Scout Troop 434 volunteered at the Red Cross, helping fill boxes with canned gods that came rushing into is center downtown.

  2. Helped with the cleanup with national guard military ducks. Backwaters went east into the airport ~

  3. There was no Columbia river dike, the only barrier was the RR fill and it was not designed for water retention.

  4. …I see these more current photos (1940-) and look forward to the moment when someone writes, “hey that’s me”, a parent, sister, etc. How cool would it be to find oneself firmly connected to a well archived fragment of history, no matter how small? I think very cool, indeed.

  5. I turned 4 a few months prior. We lived near OSHU, but my Dad grew up in N. Portland. I vividly remember him driving the family out to “see the flood”. We drove down a street and we were just a few feet away from where the street ended in water and could see the flood. I have no idea where we were, but It was very frightening – I guess my Dad didn’t realize how much he was scaring his two little daughters

  6. That kid was identified and I think was interviewed in that PBS special on Vanport that ran awhile back. Yeah Paul Delay’s father took these pictures and a whole lot more during his career. I’ve seen this photo probably more than any other historic photo of the Portland area.

  7. My former Boss was a kid living there, He had some great pictures & stories of that day. Somewhere I have a photo of an Army Duck tied to the 2fl handrail inside one of the hangars at the Airbase.

  8. My neighbor was in the Vanport movie
    theater when the flood occured; she was 14. Her father worked in the shipyards and originally commuted from Salem to. However, he eventually moved the family to Vanport. My neighbor was interviewed in the PBS documentary.

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