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May 11, 2022

40 Incredible Photos of the Los Angeles Flood in 1938

The Los Angeles flood of 1938 was one of the largest floods in the history of Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties in southern California. The flood was caused by two Pacific storms that swept across the Los Angeles Basin in February-March 1938 and generated almost one year’s worth of precipitation in just a few days.

Between 113–115 people were killed by the flooding. The Los Angeles, San Gabriel, and Santa Ana Rivers burst their banks, inundating much of the coastal plain, the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys, and the Inland Empire. Flood control structures spared parts of Los Angeles County from destruction, while Orange and Riverside Counties experienced more damage.

The flood of 1938 is considered a 50-year flood. It caused $78 million of damage ($1.5 billion in 2021 dollars), making it one of the costliest natural disasters in Los Angeles’ history. These incredible photos from jericl cat that show the destruction of the flood in Valley Glen and North Hollywood in 1938.


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