When California Was Waterlogged

The 1862 Floods That Ravaged the West Were Just As Scary As the Drought That Plagues Us Today


Frenzied, the people fled to higher ground along the far bank, saving little more than the soaked clothes slung over their bodies. Some of the last to escape had to swim to safety. They grouped at the Cuerro de Harpero, the hill to the east, and huddled together in the Capilla San Salvador. They choked in anguish as the unrelenting Santa Ana River consumed the town, crashing first through the dance hall, melting houses, flushing away cattle, sheep and fowl, the river gentle no longer. The church and the house …

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