17 thoughts on “Vanport Flood, 1948

  1. Pingback: Vanport Flood, 1948 – Urban Fishing Pole Lifestyle

  2. Facing southwest. Union Avenue (now MLK) approaches from left. Slough Bridge at bottom right. Denver Water Tower (I believe) in distance.

  3. You can see the University Homes war housing project just up the hill from Vanport on the left.

  4. A former next-door neighbor of mine told me her family lived in Vanport at the time of the flood. Her father had grown weary of commuting to the shipyards in Portland from Salem so they moved to Vanport. She said she really liked living there and had many fond memories of it. On the afternoon of the flood, her father got home early and took the family for an afternoon drive, and when they came back the flood was underway and they couldn’t return to their home. All of her friends and their families made it out safely.

  5. I assume we’re looking north, but Northeast? From where? What’s the intersection in the foreground?

  6. This aerial view of Vanport looks southwest across the flooded city with smoke from industries along the Willamette River and the West Hills in the background. Vanport apartment buildings that have lifted off their foundations are floating in the floodwaters. The intersection and bridge in the foreground may be the south end of the Interstate Bridge connecting Portland and Vancouver just south of Jantzen Beach. This flood was a major disaster for Portland and a large number of its shipyard workers just after WWII..

  7. Looking at a Vanport map the intersection in this photo would more correctly be identified at the time of the flood as N Denver & N Union Ave. All these building are gone but for anyone who has crossed the Interstate Bridge this would be the “Pier 99” area.

  8. I remember the May 30 1948 Vanport flood very well. I was in the 3rd grade, and my step-father’s sister was the librarian at the Vanport library. We were so happy she was not lost.

  9. Jay, I drove by there yesterday and specifically noticed that house and how out of place it is now!

  10. Yes Heather, it makes for a good reference as to how severe the 1948 flood was. In the vintage photo the water surrounds that house. Compare that to how far above river level the house in today in the link I posted.

  11. My family drove past Vanport about 2 hours before the flood. I can remember being jealous of the children there because they were barefoot running through the sprinklers. We had an accident while there when someone rear ended us. Dad didn’t care if I wanted to run through the sprinkler.

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