Beatrice, NE Flood, Jul 1911


Beatrice Hard by Flood, but Trains From Lincoln Now Able to Enter City.

After twenty-four hours of almost complete isolation as a result of torrential rains Saturday night, Beatrice resumed its place upon the railroad map this morning. Trains entered and left the city over the Burlington, Union Pacific and Rock Island on all lines save the Burlington to Tecumseh and the Union Pacific south.

It will be hours before the Union Pacific is open to Manhattan, Kas., and the Burlington offices in Lincoln announce that traffic on the Beatrice-Tecumseh line will be suspended for several days. Four thousand feet of track was washed off grade on the Burlington lines in the vicinity of Beatrice.

While the railroads are today resuming service and the telephone lines are being repaired out of Beatrice, citizens whose cellars were flooded have not yet made an estimate of damage, according to reports which reached Lincoln today. The damage is general all over the city and it is difficult to fix an amount which will cover the financial loss. Cellars in both downtown and residence districts have been flooded and many foundations have been washed out. Electric light service by the Beatrice Electric Light company has been resumed.

Tracks Being Repaired.

The Rock Island was the first railroad to open its lines to regular traffic, passenger trains entering Beatrice early this morning. Later the Union Pacific, and the Burlington sent regular trains to Lincoln, after considerable track repair work had been done. The Union Pacific is making no attempt to move trains south of Beatrice, pending extensive track repairing near Holmesville, near which town several hundred feet of track is said to have washed out.

The Burlington reported 4,000 feet of track out north and east of Beatrice. The damage on the Lincoln line was repaired yesterday and it was expected that the track west of DeWitt would be replaced by mid-afternoon today. From Tecumseh to Beatrice hundreds of feet of track is washed clear off the grade and the line has been closed indefinitely, several days at least being required to repair the damage.

People in Beatrice are today moving back into homes on the low lands which were vacated hurriedly during the night Saturday. Travelers from Beatrice to Lincoln today brought stories of sudden evacuations in the early hours Sunday morning. The fire whistle blew at 4 a. m. and when citizens called central to discover the whereabouts of the fire they were urged to turn out to assist in moving the lowland residents. Many families were conveyed to higher ground by wagon and boats. Yesterday groups could be seen on the streets, huddled about trunks and boxes which contained such household goods as they had snatched in their hurried departure.

Thought it and Earthquake.

A man named Savidge awoke early Sunday morning with an impression of a sickening shaking of his residence, which reached its climax in a shuddering drop of a couple of feet. Mr. Savidge arose expecting to find that an earthquake had devastated the town. Instead he found that the foundation had been swept from beneath his house, allowing the frame building to settle nearly two feet. The water reached its highest point early yesterday afternoon. At that time the boathouse by the Blue river was clear under water and the railroad yards were submerged. The flood started to subside early in the afternoon and this morning the Blue was practically within its banks, although water still filled many low spots.

It was reported this morning that the Dempster Milling company had sustained considerable damage, their plant having been flooded.

Unofficial reports indicate that the rainfall amounted to eight inches. The precipitation began at 8 p.m. and continued until 4 a.m. being at its maximum about 2 a.m. Reports of a fourteen-inch fall at Pickerell were unfounded.

Lincoln Evening News, Lincoln, NE 24 July 1911


Beatrice Sun.

One of the landmarks of Beatrice, a brick house located in the Blue river bottoms just north of the driving park, collapsed Sunday soon after the flood struck it. The house was built nearly fifty years ago by the late A. B. Cleveland, who resided there for many years. It was owned by a woman named Pahl, who lost most of her household goods when the walls fell in.

Lincoln Evening News, Lincoln, NE 28 July 1911