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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1825

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

1858

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

1862

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

1907

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

1934

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

1938

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

1955

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

1964

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

1969

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

1980

Flooding caused 18 deaths and $350 million in damages.

1982

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

1986

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

1997

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

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