75 years later….

Naomi Larsen, Chetwynd Echo Editor


EAST PINE – Seventy-five years ago on March 25, 1939 tragedy struck the small community of East Pine.

An ice jam had formed upstream on the Murray River. It let loose sending a mountain of ice blocks and water crashing down anything in its path.

When the sun rose, homes were destroyed, livestock drowned and people scrambled for high ground.

The Warren family’s home was hit directly by the water and debris. Four of the 12 people residing in the home survived.

Parents Wellington and Mabel Warren, their three young daughters Jean, Pearl and Ad and three infant grandsons, Donald, Raymond and Ernest Lamont all perished.

Daughter Ethel and husband Alan Lamont made it to safety and their son Burt Warren also survived, albeit bruised and battered.

Their other daughter Edith (Knowles) saved herself by climbing a tree.

“It was a terrifying night,” she said. “For four or five hours I could see nothing but black rushing water and blocks of ice as big as a house roaring past me.”Knowles was rescued by her brother-in-law Frank Parr and neighbour Jack Rosenau.