The Worst Floods in California’s History: Mapped

California has been home to a few devastating floods over the years. Here are a few of the worst ones.

The Worst Floods in California's History - California flood map infographic

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Heavy rains caused the L.A. river to jump its bank and flow into the ocean for the first time.


San Diego devestated by an El Niño hurricane. Damage would have totaled $630 million today.


45 days of rain destroyed 1/4th of the taxable land in California and bankrupted the state.


300,000 acres flooded in 1907 and 1909, leading to the creation of the San Joaquin River flood protection system.


400 homes destroyed in La Cañada, La Crescenta, Montrose and Tujunga.


Flooding devastated $79 million in land from San Diego to San Luis Obispo. 87 were killed.


Severe flooding in Yuba City killed 38 and required helicopter evacuation for 550.


Tsunami caused by an Alaskan earthquake caused $16 million in damage and left 14 dead.


Massive flooding killed 47, injured 161, and caused $300 million in damages.


Flooding caused 18 deaths and $350 million in damages.


Santa Cruz received 25 inches of rain in 36 hours. Severe flooding killed 36 and caused $1.2 billion in damages.


Napa and Feather River flooding killed 14 and caused $379 million in damages


New Year’s flooding killed 8 and caused $1.8 billion in losses, including 23,000 homes.

One thought on “The Worst Floods in California’s History: Mapped

  1. glen sievert

    Not sure how you completely left out the Christmas Flood 1964: 2,780 homes destroyed ,374 business destroyed, 29 deaths & 34 counties declared disaster.
    The Eel River reached 950,000cfs, the HIGHEST PEAK FLOW OF ANY CALIFIRNIA RIVER IN RECORDED HISTORY. This is equal to the average flow of the Mississippi River at its mouth!
    The towns of Klamath, Pepperwood & Weott were destroyed, with floodwaters reaching 30ft above the streets. The smashed town of Pepperwood, with houses stacked on top of houses, made the cover of Life Magazine. (Google it)
    Areas of Humboldt & Mendocino counties received 33″ of rain during Christmas week, 22″ of that coming on Dec 22.
    This flood was a HUGE disaster in Oregon as well.
    Not sure how you could miss this!
    Please revise your list!


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