Merced Express, February 8, 1901
The High Water of Bear Creek
Flood the Town.
The high waters of Bear Creek left the main channel at 2 o'clock Tuesday afternoon, and at 8 o'clock the town was flooded. Streets, yards, residences and business houses were a foot deep in water, and our people sustained much damage. All local traffic between residences and the business part of town was cut off. Goods were stored upon counter and shelves, and the goods in the cellars of the business houses were afloat. In the cellars of the private residences the canned goods, etc., floated out and lodged against the fences in the yards, and the water stood a foot deep on many of the floor, ruining carpets and other house hold goods. All day Wednesday many of our citizens were confined to their houses, not being able to get out without boats or rubber boots and all mail matter was cut off from the north and south.
Two miles of the Santa Fe road track, ties and rails – went out into the grain fields, and it will take several days to repair the damage. The Southern Pacific lost a mile or more of track in the corporate limits of the town and a force of men have been at work day and night repairing the same.
Never in the history of the town have we had such a flood. It will take two months to pump the water out of the cellars with the facilities we have for doing it. Streets went to pieces and crossings washed away. The ground will not dry out before next September from the soaking it has received. On the line of the Santa Fe road, telegraph and telephone poles all went down with the washout.