California, San Francisco, Debbie Duncan discussed on Weekend Edition Sunday
But Debbie Duncan says if history is any guide there's a bigger big one in store. Quick. What was the biggest disaster in the history of the state of California? Not the nineteen ninety six earthquake and fire that destroyed much of San Francisco or last false campfire, which devastated the town of paradise. It was a flood as in the great flood of eighteen sixty one sixty two when it rained for forty five days normal seasonal rainfall in San Francisco is twenty two inches that you're forty nine inches fell. Leland Stanford traveled from his Sacramento home to his gubernatorial. Inauguration by rowboat as the city was ten feet underwater, it remained flooded for three months entire towns in the Sierra foothills were obliterated as one storm after another slammed California a settlement of China. Knees miners drowned when the Yuba river flooded residents reported seeing houses horses poultry count Barnes bridges camp. Stores and saloons swept downstream heels everywhere became landslides, the central valley completely flooded and inland. Waterway three hundred miles long and twenty miles wide wiped out nearly every house in ranch. No one knows how many thousands of humans died, but at least two hundred thousand cattle drowned it took one season for California to switch from a ranch and economy to a farm in one when it recovered the state declared bankruptcy following the great flood rains like this will happen. Again. Geologists have determined that make a floods hit California every one to two hundred years, and that's without climate change. We have better flood control infrastructure now than in the nineteenth century, but dams don't always hold. And there are a lot more people today on those hills plains and valleys, I'm like the big earthquake. Everyone expects but cannot precisely predict meteorologist no days in advance. These atmospheric rivers that build on the Pacific pay attention to the scientists don't be surprised when history repeats itself, and whatever you do if you see a flood turn around don't drown with a perspective..