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The deadliest natural disaster in Northwest history | History Files

 

The Heppner, Oregon, flood of 1903 left 247 dead.

Pop quiz.

What was the deadliest natural disaster in the Northwest, in terms of loss? I bet I get a lot of Mount St. Helens answers. The infamous eruption of May 18, 1980, was a major event, but barely makes it into the five deadliest.

I know many are familiar with the 1910 Wellington avalanche off present-day Highway 2, but it isn’t No. 1 either, although 96 people died in that tragedy. In fact, 1910 was a particularly bad year in the Northwest. Two of the other biggest natural disasters happened that same year.

Three days after the Wellington avalanche, an avalanche in Rogers Pass in...



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