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The Anaheim Flood of 1938
September 21, 2005 11:09 AM   Subscribe

New Orleans wasn't the first American city destroyed by flooding. In 1938, Orange County was devastated by over 15 feet of floodwater after two weeks of rain. 2000 were homeless in Anaheim alone after the Santa Ana river overflowed its banks. Most of those made homeless were Mexican immigrants and the flood was quickly forgotten.

An eyewitness description.
posted by huskerdont (24 comments total)

 
It's probably worth pointing out that in 1938, Orange County was pretty much all farmland - orange groves, strangely enough - and pretty sparsely populated. It was not the totally-saturated suburban sprawl of today. Anaheim was a pretty small town then, compared to now. So saying "American city" is probably not accurate.

Let that not detract from this flood's tragedy quotient, however.
posted by zoogleplex at 11:44 AM on September 21, 2005


Or the 1889 Johnstown PA flood - 2209 dead.
posted by tomplus2 at 11:50 AM on September 21, 2005


Well, you can go back much further than that -- in 1889 the city of Johnstown, PA was wiped out by a flood.
posted by pardonyou? at 11:51 AM on September 21, 2005


(damn live preview! Without it I would have seen tomplus2's post and deep-sixed mine).
posted by pardonyou? at 11:52 AM on September 21, 2005




Dear God -

Thank you for answering my prayers, but please be careful to spare the people of Galveston and New Orleans.

Amen.
posted by insomnia_lj at 11:54 AM on September 21, 2005


Or New Orleans in 1927, which I swear someone on Meet the Press last week was saying went much better than this time.
posted by 31d1 at 11:55 AM on September 21, 2005


And before Anaheim there was Galveston in 1900, when 6,000 were killed. Hopefully, history won't repeat itself this weekend.
posted by birdherder at 11:58 AM on September 21, 2005


insomnia_lj, that just made my day....! Can't stop chuckling!
posted by ramix at 12:04 PM on September 21, 2005


Not to mention Galveston . . .
posted by Eyebeams at 12:15 PM on September 21, 2005


Insomnia, you just cracked me up. Thanks.
posted by huskerdont at 12:28 PM on September 21, 2005


I can hear him now...

"Out of the rubble of my ranch - I lost my entire ranch - there's going to be an amazing ranch. And I look forward to clearing some brush."
posted by shawnj at 12:35 PM on September 21, 2005


If you want to get in a pissing match over this, then how about going back even further to the great flood that covered the entire world and drowned all the sinful people (and innocent bystander animals)?
posted by Gamblor at 12:55 PM on September 21, 2005


Some of those animals weren't so innocent. You think that all that bestiality happened because some guy just decided to hump a sheep out of loneliness. I contend some of 'em was askin' fer it!
posted by Pollomacho at 1:10 PM on September 21, 2005


Ok, the thing I could never get past was this: Noah brought his four sons and their wives on the ark. If the whole flood story is to be taken seriously, and all the people except them were drowned, then doesn't that mean that all of Noah's grandchildren had to get it on with each other? I mean, otherwise we wouldn't be here.

So God gets fed up with humanity, destroys all life on the planet (except the ark folks), and then leaves the planet to a bunch of incestuous cousins? That's his master plan?
posted by Gamblor at 1:12 PM on September 21, 2005


Funny thing...I was watching Nova last night on OPB and it talked about the great flood that occurred 15000 years ago in western USA. Apparently a glacier damming lake Missoula (a lake formed by a massive glacier blocking the path of a river) collapsed and dumped over 1000 feet of water over the west. Interesting stuff.
posted by ramix at 1:27 PM on September 21, 2005


"So God gets fed up with humanity, destroys all life on the planet (except the ark folks), and then leaves the planet to a bunch of incestuous cousins? That's his master plan?"

Certainly would explain a lot about why people act the way we do, eh what?

If God destroys Crawford and the Bush Ranch with Hurricane Rita, what message do you think the Administration will take from that?

I know what I'll believe... ;)

ramix, that's how geologists think the Badlands were carved out, from that lake all rushing through there at once in a massive flood. Probably weren't any cities there at the time, though... although they'd have been totally washed away so we'll never know.
posted by zoogleplex at 3:37 PM on September 21, 2005


The Vanport, Oregon flood discussed earlier this year.
posted by karmaville at 3:48 PM on September 21, 2005


You think Cheney doesn't have the ark market all sewn up?
posted by cookie-k at 4:04 PM on September 21, 2005


Glacial Lake Missoula didn't just blow out once, but dozens of times, with a water flow estimated at 10 times that of all other world rivers combined. 12,000 years ago, my house here in Missoula would have been under several hundred feet of water, pretty much eliminating my need for automatic sprinkling. Ah, the good old days.... You can still see the multiple lakeshore lines on the hills around here.
posted by bigskyguy at 4:32 PM on September 21, 2005


Los Angeles' St. Francis Dam failure of 1928.
posted by mwhybark at 4:59 PM on September 21, 2005


And floods weren't always of water.

zoogleplex writes "'So God gets fed up with humanity, destroys all life on the planet (except the ark folks), and then leaves the planet to a bunch of incestuous cousins? That's his master plan?'"

Remember the Christian God originally started with just two, a dozen was a smorgasboard of choices.
posted by Mitheral at 5:07 PM on September 21, 2005


Possibly mentioned before but the 1928 hurricane over Lake Okeechobee in Florida was really horrible and ranks as one of the worst distasters in US history.

The Florida Flood that Accounted for the Most Deaths of Black People in a Single Day (Until Katrina).
posted by PHINC at 7:13 PM on September 21, 2005


Incest and the Bible was like this.
posted by 31d1 at 7:59 PM on September 21, 2005


Hey, I didn't write that, I quoted it from Gamblor.

But that was still a chuckler. :)
posted by zoogleplex at 10:40 PM on September 21, 2005


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