"Dikes are Safe at Present": The 1948 Columbia River Flood and the Destruction of Vanport

The End of Vanport: June 1948

Over Vanport during flood

Very little would be left of Vanport, the city or the college, after the flood.

There are no apartment buildings or grocery stores on the site of historic Vanport, Oregon, today; the former site of the "U by the Slough" is largely cleared for the Heron Lakes golf course or left as marshy wetland, with the Portland Expo Center, the Portland International Raceway, the Delta industrial park, and, as Drew Pearson predicted in 1948, the rebuilt Portland Meadows race track nearby. 

Vanport College under water

In this view, Portland Hall is the smaller white building in the center of the image.

Portland Hall flooded, another view

Portland Hall, formerly the college recreation center and gymnasium, halfway underwater.

Portland Hall flooded

Another view of Portland Hall engulfed.



"All the college buildings were destroyed or unusable.  The only bright spot was that no member of the college community had lost his or her life.  Nor did anyone at Vanport College believe the institution would die."  (Dodds, The College That Would Not Die)

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