Wardner, ID Snow Avalanche, Feb 1957



Wardner, Idaho (AP) -- A massive avalanche roared down a narrow canyon at this North Idaho mining community early Tuesday, killing one man and throwing his wife 200 feet through the roof and into the kitchen of an adjoining house.
Six hours later there was another huge snowslide that demolished two houses and buried a woman and her 3-year-old daughter for an hour and a half.
They were rescued alive by 100 men working with shovels and bulldozers.
Virtually all of the 1,000 residents started to evacuate the town.
"They're packing up in their cars and trucks and getting out because there is a danger of still more slides," said Wendell Brainard, editor of The Kellogg Evening News.
CLARENCE WEAVER, 56, a Bunker Hill Co. miner, was found dead in snow near his smashed house about two hours after the slide came down the Sierra Nevada hill at 4 a.m.
His wife, EMILY, about 60, was knocked out of bed. Snow and debris had punched a hole in the kitchen of the neighboring W. M. TRIPLETT home and MRS. WEAVER, thrown through the air, landed in a pile of snow near the stove.
The TRIPLETTS saw her arm sticking out and pulled her free. She was taken to a hospital in critical condition. MR. and MRS. TRIPLETT were unhurt but their 10-year-old son was knocked out of bed.
At 10 a.m. a second slide came down and caught MRS. BETTY SAWYER and her 3-year-old daughter in back of their house.
They were buried under piles of snow for 90 minutes while volunteers searched frantically for them. They were found near the family car. The child was crying, MRS. SAWYER was conscious but injured. Torn timbers from the house apparently gave her breathing space.
MRS. ROBERT BERQUIST was standing in her kitchen making a telephone call when the second slide came down. It bowled her over, covered her up and smashed the house. She was rescued.
Wardner, a little mining settlement near Kellogg in North Idaho's Shoshone County, sits amid steep narrow canyons. The second slide, about a half mile down the hill from the first one, threw snow and debris all over Main Street.
Old time residents said they couldn't recall a slide on the hill before. Some residents, however, were moving out.
The slide apparently was caused by a heavy snowfall on top of a blanket of lighter snow. There are few trees in the slide area.
Another slide closed the mouth of the tunnel at the Last Chance mine nearby.
A minor slide was also reported Tuesday in Burke Canyon near Wallace. A snowslide there last March 2 killed one person and injured 20 others. It came down in the early morning hours and caught victims in bed.

Walla Walla Union-Bulletin Washington 1957-02-05


Mrs. Weaver

Emily Weaver was my great-grandmother and we have many pictures of that accident.