1938 Flood Headlines
The previous three parts of this series showed the consequences of a very particular combination of earth, wind, fire and water in the hills north of downtown Los Angeles. The massive devastation caused by the 1933/1934 New Year’s flood was certainly a wake-up call not only for the residents but for local authorities. Well not really. The wake-up call should’ve come long before.
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Part 1 and Part 2 of this series explain the geography of the Los Angeles basin, including the steep mountains rimming the northern edge of the basin that were pushed up by the action of two tectonic plates meeting along the San Andreas Fault. The articles discussed how the dense chaparral burns fast and hot pushed by the hot winds coming over the mountains from the desert causing the soil to become almost waterproof. All that it takes to set off a huge flood of mud is rain.
The Great Depression that started with the stock market crash in the fall of 1929 hit rock bottom in the spring of 1933. It would be a slow recovery that would not end until the advent of World War II. New Year’s Eve 1933 was still reason for many to celebrate the promise of the New Year. In the little Crescenta-Canada Valley many residents had gone out for the evening. It had been raining for a couple of days, so a warm gathering of friends must’ve sounded good. Unfortunately the loudest noises that evening would not be man-made. [click to continue…]