Grass Valley Journal ~ 7 July 1916
The heaviest rain, or cloudburst, that ever visited this city, made its appearance last Friday evening at 5:20, and in ten minutes time the streets were flooded to a depth of six inches, cellars were filled and the creeks were soon out of their banks, but the property damage in this city fourtunately was very light. In Hay Canyon country there was a cloudburst and a torrent of water said to be 20 to 25 feet high rushed down the narrow canyon carrying death and destruction with it. Mrs. Elizabeth Fortner and her daughter, Mrs. L.H. Lawrence, who were at the farm of their son and brother, were in the house when the water struck it and carried it down the stream with the two occupants; the house was completely demolished and the body of Mrs. Fortner was found 9 miles down the canyon and the daughter four miles below the home. The other two who lost their lives were John Kunsman and Mr. Burnett, both of Moro. They were working on the road and the rain drove them to their tent and the wall of water came so fast they were unable to reach a place of safety and their bodies were carried down the canyon about three miles and lodged against a barbed wire fence, the bodies about six feet apart. At Moro Sunday afternoon 2:30 there was a double funeral and there was a very large attendance. Mr. Kunsman was the father of Mrs. L. Barnum. Mr. Burnett leaves a wife and two children. About the same hour, the double funeral of Mrs. Fortner and her daughter, Mrs. Lawrence, was held at Wasco. Mrs. Fortner was the mother of F.E. Fortner, cashier of the Moro Bank, and Fred Fortner, Wasco. It is reported that the storm burst over the farm of John Hastings, demolishing his barn, carrying away five head of horses, machinery, tools and buildings, except his house, and his loss is placed at $2,500. C.P. Axtell lost a band of cattle and some small outbuildings; C.C. Calloway lost his barn, some machinery and several hundred fence posts; Dayton Hendrix [Henrichs?] lost all his machinery, chickens, etc. and buildings except his house; one railroad bridge was damaged but the section crews soon had the necessary repairs made, the trains were not delayed long. The property damage is estimated in the neighborhood of $20,000.