CO Various Locations of Snow Slides, Feb 1897
SNOW SLIDES PREVAIL.
THEY CAUSE DEATHS AND BLOCKADE THE RAILROADS.
Denver, Feb. 20 -- There was a reign of terror in the mountains yesterday. Reports from Leadville, Aspen, Ouray, Red Cliff, Telluride and other towns tell of snow slides by the dozens. Huge volumes of snow tumbled down from every peak and crag, and those who had to travel on the mountain trails were in fear of their lives. J. E. BELL, a mail carrier of Ouray, was caught and killed in a big slide at Riverside, and a man at Provo, Utah, was crushed to death in bed by a mountain of snow which fell upon his cabin.
Railroad travel was blocked on all of the lines centering at Leadville, and down in the southern part of the state the Rio Grande Southern was tied up at different points by snow. West of Leadville travel is reported to be impossible. The snow storm of Wednesday continued with increased fury about Leadville yesterday, and the snow on the level would have been difficult enough to handle, but the precipitation from the sides of the mountains carrying stones and timbers with the mass, could not be handled by snow plows. Had trains been running in the usual way there would probably have been several bad disasters and fearful loss of life, but as it was, the roads were all partically tied up during Wednesday night and no trains were caught in the slides, so far as known.
The fall of snow during Wednesday and Thursday on the summit of the range was the heaviest for the same period of time, known in years, and if snow slides were as general yesterday in the remote places in the mountains as they were about the principal towns, the loss of life may prove to have been greater than is suspected. A correspondent of the Republican who made a trip of ten miles up Eagle canon[sic], by a high trail, states that the canon[sic] is a long succession of snow slides, and such is probably the case all through the mountains.
Telegraphic reports received last night from various points on the Divide say that it was still snowing more last night.
The weather in the mountains yesterday was as warm as in Denver, and the snow had no chance to harden. The railroad officials are praying for a little colder weather so that the snow may freeze and stop the sliding process. No one was injured in any of the slides, and only one engine was caught. That was an engine on the Midland, but it was soon released.
Fairplay Flume Colorado 1897-02-26