CHAPTER FOUR

 

THE FLOOD

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Living on the banks of a river had one disadvantage. Every few years after an unusually heavy snowfall, an early warm spring, and some heavy rain, the river would go into flood. Mostly the damage would be minor but a coupleSkeena River Flood at Pacific, June 1936 of times there was real hardship.

In June,1936 the worst flood occurred which washed out bridges, railway tracks, sixty miles on each side of Pacific. Many buildings and homes were flooded and some moved and washed away.

There was no train service for six months and Pacific was virtually cut off from the rest of the world.

Flood in Pacific, 1936Several homes belonging to the railway were flooded out but fortunately there was a large work train at the station asFlood in Pacific, June 1936 well as some spare coaches which helped to house the people who lost their homes. The McCubbins had a small empty house to which they moved a prospector who lost his shack.

Pacific Flood, 1936They were able to get food from Terrace by means of a rowboat with an outboard motor. And more important, the men were able to obtain their tobacco and snuff which got pretty scarce for a time.

Fortunately the McCubbin store was up high enough above the river to escape the flood, though the store at Doreen was not as lucky as it was surrounded by water.

Flood in Pacific, June 1936

River Flood Damage near Pacific, June 1936The bridge across the slough at Pacific was washed out so Jack had to get busy and build a new one.

 

Flood in Pacific, June 1936

The store sold goods that had been sitting on its shelves for twenty years, including old fashioned boots (pointed toes) and hats and shirts and the customers were happy to get them. It was no time to be fussy.

Pacific Flood, June 1936Jack and Edward Anderson did a lot of fishing so there was always fish when meat was scarceJack McCubbin & Ed Anderson

The horse, Molly, got stranded on a grassy knoll during the flood so the men had to push the cart down to the supply boat to load up and then pull it up the hill to the store. That was real man power! When the water receded, they had to swim Molly across the slough and had quite a time getting her out of the water and up the soggy, slippery bank.

Doreen, June 1936, FloodThe square ended boat in the picture was built by the Bridge and Building gang who were working to repair the flood damage to the tracks and it was a very busy means of transportation.Flood, Square ended boat, Pacific, June 1936

This, indeed, was a disaster that will always be remembered by the people of Pacific.

Flood, Pacific, June 1936Flood, Pacific, June 1936Flood, Pacific, June 1936Flood damage to tracks, June 1936

 

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