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The Flood of 1910

by Theresa König last modified 2007-11-07 12:41

Here, at the river bank of the Ill, we find the first station on the Vandans Legend Trail.  It starts with a true story, partly in the words of the sister of the young man from Vandans named Schoder that lost his life here in a tragic accident.

The Flood of 1910

Vandans has often been plagued by terrible natural catastrophes.  One of the worst floods happened, for example, in the year 1910.  The village and all of the surrounding fields were, for the most part, destroyed.  Even the bridge over the Ill, going to St. Anton was swept away by the storm.  There was also one death.

The young man who lost his life to the flood was called Schoder, and he was the village post man.  At that time there wasn’t a post office in Vandans and he always had to go to St. Anton to pick up the mail.  The bridge had been washed away and the young man was looking for a way to get to St. Anton without having to go all the way to Rodund and Kaltenbrunne.  The answer presented itself in the form of a rope that was stretched over the river.  The local cabbage grater monger had stretched the rope over the river and tied a large box to it to transport his wares.  Young Schoder also decided to use this provisional cable car until the bridge was rebuilt.  According to his sister, an old, practically blind man happened to be at the spot at the same time, carrying a packet of flour.  The postman helped the old man get over the river first but when he got to the other side, he didn’t send the box back.  Because of this, Schroder tried to get across the river by hanging from the rope and going hand over hand.  Unfortunately though, his strength ran out and he fell into the raging Ill.
His sister Agatha tells the story like this: “ …he was hanging on the rope – he wanted to, and I guess he just wasn’t strong enough.  Maybe he got a cramp or had a stroke and fell into the water.  The letter bag that he had with him was probably too heavy and the water was too high, and he couldn’t get back out.”

She actually had no idea of what had happened until the next morning when she had to take the cows out to the meadow.  Every time she saw someone she noticed that they had a funny look on their face and when she finally got up the courage to ask what was wrong she was told her that her brother’s body had been found in Bludenz.  “Yes.” She said  “He was lying in Bludenz – dead.”


P01-1_The Flood of 1910.mp3

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