American Disasters - Great Oregon Disasters

Reviewed Resources for Students and Teachers 


Great American Disasters State by State

Alabama  - Alaska  - Arizona  - Arkansas  - California  - Colorado  - Connecticut  - Delaware  - Florida  - Georgia  - Hawaii  - Idaho  - Illinois  - Indiana  - Iowa  - Kansas  - Kentucky  - Louisiana  - Maine  - Maryland  - Massachusetts  - Michigan  - Minnesota  - Mississippi  - Missouri  - Montana  - Nebraska  - Nevada  - New Hampshire  - New Jersey  - New Mexico  - New York  - North Carolina  - North Dakota  - Ohio  - Oklahoma  - Oregon  - Pennsylvania  - Rhode Island  - South Carolina  - South Dakota  - Tennessee  - Texas  - Utah  - Vermont  - Virginia  - Washington - West Virginia  - Wisconsin  - Wyoming 


These pages do not begin to cover all the disasters that have taken place in every state.  There is also controversy over what constitutes and defines a "great" disaster from any other kind.  All disasters are "great" to those directly involved in them.

So these pages are a mix of "great" and "not so great" disasters.  The major disasters are all covered in the larger sites I have linked to as resources and the rest are related items of interest.

For example, you might not find a particular major disaster on this list, but it may be included in a site such as, which is one of the resources found here.

This is an excellent place to begin your research.  The links found here lead to an ever widening amount of information.  Good luck in your efforts.

Go to Oregon Social Studies - Oregon History - Capital City Salem, Oregon - Oregon Tourism - Oregon Disasters - Oregon Geography - Oregon Lesson Plans - Oregon Colleges and Universities


1971 Wreck at Deschutes Junction, Oregon __ "On the evening of July 16, 1971, unknown persons released the brakes of four box cars loaded with moulding in the rail yard in Bend, Oregon. The cars rolled out of the yard onto the mainline,..." - From -

1972 Portland-Vancouver Tornado __ "The 1972 Portland-Vancouver Tornado was a destructive tornado that struck on April 5, 1972. The tornado carved a nine mile path of destruction across Oregon and Washington. The tornado left 6 people dead, 300 injured and $3-5 million dollars (1972 USD) in damage." An encyclopedic article with links to related materials. - From wikipedia -

Astoria, OR Fire, Dec 1922 __ "The business district of Astoria, the oldest city in Oregon is in ruins, hundreds of persons are homeless and property loss estimated around $15,000,00 has been caused by a fire which earlier today broke out in a restaurant..." Original news articles and links to additional resources. - From -

Biscuit Fire __ "The Biscuit Fire was a wildfire that took place in 2002 that burned nearly 500,000 acres (2,000 km˛) in the Siskiyou National Forest in the states of Oregon and California. It was named for Biscuit Creek in southern Oregon." An encyclopedic article with links to related material. - illustrated - From wikipedia -

Canemah, OR Steamer Gazelle Explosion, Apr 1854 __ "The Wallamette Fall Co.'s new steamer “Gazelle” left her wharf this morning at 6 ˝ o'clock, and had just landed at Canemah at 15 minutes before seven, when a terrible explosion of her boilers blew her into atoms, killing twenty persons and wounding many others." Original news articles and links to additional resources. - From - 

Category:Natural disasters in Oregon __ Index of wikipedia articles about Oregon disasters. - From wikipedia -

DC-8 Runs Out of Fuel & Crashes Near Portland __ "At 6:15 pm on December 28, 1978, a United Airlines DC-8 operating as Flight 173 crashed into a wooded, populated area of suburban Portland, Oregon, during an approach to the Portland International Airport." - an overview - From -

Earthquakes in Oregon State __ "There are numerous fault zones in Oregon. A graphical representation is available from the University of Oregon. The information below about earthquake hazards in Oregon is exerpted from an FAQ by the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries." - From -

FEMA: Oregon State Disaster History __ Oregon Disaster History. Major Disaster Declarations. Click on the 'disaster #' on the right side of the list to access detailed information including images and more. - illustrated - From FEMA -  

Historic Disasters: Oregon Disasters __ You will find a list of Oregon disasters. Each list entry is a live link to additional information. - From -

Hot Lake, OR Train Wreck, Jun 1946  __ "Two Union Pacific passenger trains collided head-on in front of the Hot Lake sanitarium today, killing a brakeman and injuring six passengers." Original news articles. - From -

Oregon Disasters Floods, Fires, Tornadoes, Mine Explosions and more __ Oregon Disasters. Events that touched our ancestor's lives: Oregon floods, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, storms, mining accidents, explosions, more. Many click to read articles and resources. - illustrated - From -

Oregon Earthquake Information __ A good look at earthquakes in Oregon covering history, intensity, location, seismic maps and more. - illustrated - From -

A Place Called Oregon - Oregon Disaster Index __ Click to view illustrated articles about six Oregon disasters. - illustrated - From -

The Sinking of the Czarina __ "Oregon could tell no sadder story nor claim no greater shame, then that which befell so tragically upon her history, January 12th, of nineteen hundred and ten. The story of the ill fated Czarina, is one of no heroes and one of no glory. It echo's the fragility of man, and weeps to the streams of the sea. In measure of life's darkest hour, she still weighs upon the mariners heart like an anchor to the wind." A good report with investigation findings. - illustrated - From -

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