- Posted By: Scott Wilson
- Posted On: 1:04 a.m. | January 26, 2016
A huge storm that swamped Southern California in February 1927 left Compton flooded, suddenly turning the main streets of the city into rivers.
It wasn’t that it rained anymore in Compton than elsewhere. Rather, the problem stemmed from overwhelmed drainage channels, swollen with rain from Los Angeles and other points at higher elevations, that inadvertently discharged floodwaters into the main business section of Compton.
“The drainage channel known as Compton Creek is not capable of carrying the large volume of water poured into it from the City of Los Angeles storm drains which terminate at One Hundred and Eighth and South Main streets,” the Los Angeles Times reported on Feb. 20, 1927.
Some 6.5 inches of rain fell in the storm, much of it collected by two large water conduits in Los Angeles that discharged their water into Compton Creek channel. Soon after that point, The Times reported, the problems began:
“At a short distance from the point of discharge, the ditch takes a right-angle turn, too abrupt for this great volume of water to follow. Consequently, the water cuts new channels straight ahead, and flows on down through Watts, Willowbrook, Lynwood, county territory, and through the principal streets of Compton into the Los Angeles River channel.”
The Times story concluded by saying that Compton officials had demanded that Los Angeles city and county officials work on a “feasible and business-like plan to control the flow of storm waters.”