Letter: Tragic day in Vanport remembered



In the April 3 issue of the Columbian there appeared an advertising filler about the Vanport Flood. It stated that one Felix Baranovich had seen the dike break on that fateful day in 1948. The notice stated that it was believed that he was the only one in Vancouver that witnessed that disaster.

I, too, was in Vanport that day and what we witnessed was a break in the railroad fill, not a dike. I was eating Sunday dinner when I saw the fill rise up and collapse, allowing a torrent of water to pour into Vanport. I was going to try to help but it was not just a wall of water coming at me, it was trees, cars, logs and buildings.

One of the main buildings of Vanport College, where I was a student, helped to divert some of the onslaught into the sloughs giving us precious minutes to haul anatomy down Cottonwood Avenue to the Denver fill.

I was hoping others would react to that notice, as I have met Vanport refugees here in Vancouver. I thought it would be nice if we could have a reunion come May 30, the 65th anniversary of that tragic day.

Bill Hughes