1900 - Electric Plant at Columbus is Under Water and Street Cars Stopped - No Electric Lights.
Columbus, Ga., February 13. (Special.) - The Chattahoochee river, after having risen several inches today, was at a standstill at 11 o'clock tonight. The rapid rise of the earlier hours today was not kept up, and thus the wagon bridges were saved, for the present at least. For several hours the river was stationary, but this afternoon it began to rise again an inch or so an hour. If the last big rain from up the country has reached here the river is now at its height, and from now on will gradually subside, but if the new water is yet to come the results will be serious, as the river has been within two or three feet of the danger line all day. The lower wagon bridge is three feet from the water.
W. C. WHITNER, chief engineer of the Columbus Power Company, estimated tonight that the damage to the North Highlands contractors, HADAWAY JONES & CO., will be between five and ten thousand dollars. Every derrick but one has been swept away, several engines have been carried off, and the general dismantlement of the machinery constitutes the principal damage. There is very little damage to the works.
The dam has not budged. The sweeping away of some green masonry at the end is the only damage to the works. The general injury is enough to delay work on the plant two months, MR. WHITNER estimates.
Columbus is lighted tonight by gas, candles and the moon. The plant of the Columbus Railroad Company is so flooded that only three street cars could run today, and no electric lights could be furnished tonight. It looked queer to see business buildings illuminated by kerosene and candles.
Water continues on a level with floors of the lower buildings at the Eagle and Phenix Mills. If the stream gets any higher it will do considerable damage. It lacks four feet of reaching the 1886 line at the mills. The Eagle and Phenix Mills have been remodeling their water power, and they are fortunate that none of their derricks have been swept away. Water is partly up in the mill yards, and is swaying fences about. The mill people are watching the situation closely and are in telegraphic communication with points up the river.
Many country bridges through this section have been washed away, and the general damage is great.
The Chattahoochee is far out of its ordinary bounds, and laps the edges of several manufacturing institutions on Front and Short streets. The raging waters are carrying by articles of every description. Thousands have visited the river today.
This morning another land slide occurred on the Southern railway at Pine mountain. The early Southern train for Atlanta had to turn around at the mountain and come back to Columbus. The night train from Atlanta was the first to make the entire trip on this road today.
The Atlanta Constitution
February 14, 1900
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