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Thread: Hemet and San Jacinto 1980 Flood

  1. #1
    Squirrel Extraordinaire Dulloldfart's Avatar
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    Default Hemet and San Jacinto 1980 Flood

    From Little Dickie Bedtime Story #5:

    It was 1980. We were at the international base in Hemet California and we had recently completed building a studio for making training films. It was considered that the training films could make the difference in whether the group would "save the planet" or not. With no time to waste, we had worked day and night to build the studio to shoot the films in.

    That winter there was a lot of snow in the mountains. A large storm came, dropping heavy rain for days. At the same time the temperature rose, causing the snow in the mountains to melt. There is a large river bed running through the valley that divides the international base from the city of Hemet and the farms and properties that surround it. In the summer the river bed is bone dry, now it was a raging river about 75 yards across and a few feet deep and it was threatening to break through its banks.

    The Army Corp of Engineers brought in huge bulldozers to built up the banks to prevent the river from flooding the city of Hemet. On our side, we had a couple small pieces of equipment and about 60 male staff with shovels desperately working through the day and into the night to prevent the river from breaking through as it would flood our buildings including our new studio.

    During the night, as it continued to rain heavily, it became obvious that despite our efforts, the bank on our side would give out within minutes. One of our most senior staff members (who, by the way, had joined the Business Association and other groups in Hemet as a PR function) went around to the other side of the river and covertly popped a hole through the river bed. The river broke through and flooded out the city of Hemet and the surrounding area causing MAJOR damage. The Army Corp of Engineers had two bulldozers buried so deep in mud they couldn't dig them out until the summer. Downtown Hemet had a foot of water and mud wash through its buildings and shops. Acres and acres of farm land was flooded and covered with silt.

    Our little team of "flood-fighters" never brought up what had happened. We had zero remorse.

    -----

    There is a news story and photograph or two here. The opening paragraph says, "SAN JACINTO - When the San Jacinto River breeched [sic] its banks in 1980, the resulting flood inundated 11 square miles on the north side of town and left homes, businesses, schools and Mt. San Jacinto College under water." Plus it is easy enough to Google and find other photos and stories. My question is:

    What would have happened to Hemet and the flooded area if Gold had been flooded first? Would it have made any difference? From the photo linked, that was an awful lot of water, and maybe it wouldn't have made any difference to the local area, although it would have made a considerable difference to Gold. I don't know the answer to my question; just curious.

    Paul
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  2. #2
    Gold Meritorious Patron
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    Gold recieved a motivator in Aug 1990.:D

    They were seriously flooded out. That time the rain came from the hills behind Gold.
    And of course DM took it out on the staff.

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