1938 storm floods Anaheim
March 3, 1938: During heavy rains, overflow waters from the Santa Ana River flooded Anaheim. The overflowing river left damage in San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange counties as it roared toward the Pacific Ocean.
This Associated Press aerial photo was published on Page 5 of the March 4, 1938, Los Angeles Times. A story on Page 6 reported:
Anaheim last night reported four persons dead, at least twelve missing, hundreds homeless and property damage totaling several hundred thousand dollars, largely due to the roaring current of the Santa Ana River, which broke its dikes and surged into the city.
The dead and missing all were from the Mexican district homes in northern Anaheim.
Dikes collapsed at 2:30 a.m. and within a half hour the river had risen five feet and was racing through the city. Water was three feet deep in many homes and residents found refuge on rooftops.
Police sounded warning signals to awaken sleeping persons. War veterans were dispatched to send the alarm to the northern section but some abandoned their automobiles when the flood overtook them. …
Dikes gave way near Atwood, seven miles east of Anaheim, and the stream joined a wall of water pouring from Carbon Canyon.
The Yorba bridge at the lower end of Santa Ana Canyon and the Jefferson avenue bridge quickly gave way. Approaches to the Santa Fe bridge were destroyed, but the Olive bridge was reported intact. …
For more on the 1938 floods, check out this previous From the Archive post: 1938 storm changes Los Angeles River.
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