HARLEM PEOPLE HAVE ABANDONED THEIR HOMES. ~ Missouri River Backed Into the Village Through Breach in Bank Below.

June 10, 1908

Missouri River Backed Into the Vil-
lage Through Breach in
Bank Below.

Yesterday was the first exhibition day for the Missouri. The Big Muddy had been out of its banks north of the city for two days, working its way into Clay county in the form of a creek, that swelled at times to lakes. Yesterday morning found the river more than a mile wide near Parkville, with Parkville high and dry, but the incursion made on the Kansas side. Towards this city, however an due east of Kansas City, Kas., the Missouri had eaten its way till it was three times its normal width. Right north of the city Harlem stood safe till about noon yesterday, when back water began going into it. The Harlem shore is fairly high and it held back the Missouri even as late as dark last night, but east of the little town about three-quarters of a mile the shore line drops. The river got over this by 10 o'clock and began pouring into a swamp to the north. As this filled the water made its way back west, so that the Missouri was simultaneously traveling east and west within a few yards of both currents Harlem lay at the extreme western end of this swamp. The back water got to it by noon. Field glasses showed that the people were all moving out of the hamlet before the first water got to them. By 4 o'clock the water was entering the Harlem church. The church is on a little rise on the ground. East of Harlem half a mile was to be seen at dusk a white houseboat, apparently standing the in the middle of the Missouri. Its location marked the north bank of the Missouri river.

To the far east stands St. George's hospital, the "pest house." It was abandoned by all but Dr. J. H. Ashton and a cook four days ago. Four smallpox patients were spirited to some secluded spot and are being taken care of. Meantime there is a mile of water between the hospital and the mainland, although between the hospital and the river there is a high bank. The Missouri had gone over the south bank between Kansas City and the isolation hospital, cutting the hospital off. The two men in the plant say they are in no danger, as they have a boat and the current between the m and the mainland is not swift. They said last night that nothing in the way of bodies nor carcasses of cattle has been observed going down stream, though it has been constantly watched. No farm products have gone past, either, showing that the flood has not done much permanent damage so far.