The Great Flood of 1938

This single flood caused 50 million dollars in damage.

The Anaheim Flood of 1938 – Historic Damage & Losses

In February and March of 1938 a pair of massive storms hit the Los Angeles Basin resulting in a flood of historic proportions. Also known as the Los Angeles flood of 1938, this natural disaster caused unprecedented rain to fall across much of coastal Southern California. This is considered one of the worst natural disasters in the history of Southern California and was called at the time the “fifth largest flood in history” by The Red Cross.

When it was all said and done, 115 would lie dead and 40 million dollars in water damages would be incurred. As with many catastrophes, there are silver linings to this story. Among these is the fact that the event forced city planners to re-think their approach to flood preparedness, prompting the creation of several dams such as the Sepulveda, Hansen and Prado Water Dams. These improvements proved themselves instrumental in mitigating the damages that occurred during the great floods of 1969 and 2005.

The Anaheim Flood of 1938 is considered a 50 year flood. The term “50 year flood” is one that was created to describe the estimated probability of a flood event happening in any given year. Therefore, the probability of a 50 year flood occurring in a given year is roughly 2%.

Are you prepared for a flood? Read our guide and be ready.

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