KSJ Tracker Tag: Megafloods

January 25, 2013

UPDATED* Not Much Ink for ARkStorms that could wreck the West Coast, but Scientific American spells out the near-Noachian peril

  It is not that the great flood of 1861-2 has been forgotten in California. It is in the history books and is a staple lesson in media feature stories on the state's water problems, floods, and such all. I've mentioned this epic onslaught in stories once in awhile, and always think its most amazing aspect is not that it flooded Sacramento and a good deal of the central valley (there weren't many towns out there then), but that SF Bay was so engorged by river runoff that it filled beyond the normal high tide level. That meant the Golden Gate flowed outward day and night for a stretch, the bay became a muddy but near-fresh water lake. Given the power of the tide's flood at the gate, it is astounding that enough rain could fall to stop it.