Fort Vancouver Tapestry

56. Vanport Flood

An entire city washed away in 1948 flood

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Sponsored by: Diana Cruz and Betty Heiden
in memory of Voncile Erickson-Welsh
On May 30, 1948 a flood wiped out the town of Vanport, the largest public housing project in US history, built to accommodate wartime shipyard industries. 15 people perished and 18,000 were left homeless. The Alcoa Aluminum plant west of Vancouver built earthen dikes around the plant and invited neighboring dairymen and sheep farmers to bring their herds and flocks into the dry area. In the top border a local farmer rows his boat out to his partially submerged barn to check on the sheep in the loft. At the bottom of the panel you can just barely see the roofs of a house and barn.