Beside the threat of a big earthquake, Southern California also has a history of destructive storms and along with it, floods, landslides, mudslides, etc. This threat is aggravated by the fact that a lot of homes in southern California are located on hillsides or steep slopes. To cite some examples:
Los Angeles 1938, two storm systems from the Pacific battered Los Angeles for almost 5 continuous days dumping more than 9.4 inches of rain in just 6 days. Three Area Rivers, Los Angeles, Santa Ana and San Gabriel overflowed. The resulting flood destroyed more than 5,600 homes, damaged more than 1,500 others and killed more than 100 people. Much of LA, Riverside and Orange Counties were inundated.
Los Angeles, January 1969: 9 days of heavy rains once again battered LA dumping more than 50 inches of rain on Mt. Baldy east of LA. The Federal Emergency Management Association declared it a disaster area on Jan 26. As the heavy rains saturated the area, a series of landslides [Glendora, Mandeville Canyon, etc] were triggered destroying more than 200 homes and killing dozens of people.
1980, 1983, 1992 and 1994 also saw heavy rains, flooding and landslides in Los Angeles with 1992 being the worst. The 1992 disaster was caused by a stalled low pressure system off the cost of southern California which dumped nearly 12 inches of precipitation. This in turn caused landslides, sewage spills and 70 stranded commuters in LA.
Perhaps the most recent of these floods is 2010 wherein heavy rains dumped half of Los Angeles’ annual rainfall in just 6 days. This caused landslides in the hillsides of Interstate 10 near Pomona City, flooding in Highland which is only 65 miles east of LA and the evacuation of more than 230 homes in the foothill suburbs of La Crescenta and La Canada Flintridge where there was a high risk of mudlisdes.
All of the above however, will seem like a drizzle when compared to the superstorms that the scientists say wreak havoc every 100 years or so in California. These storms can last for more than 40 days and dump 10 feet of water with winds reaching 125 miles per hour. Such a storm has been recorded in history 150 years ago when the Central Valley was inundated from 1861-62 forcing the state capital to be moved to San Francisco. More catastrophic storms have also occurred in California over the past on 1605, 1418, 1029, 603, 440 and 212. If a storm of this magnitude happens today, the total damage done will be more than $300 billion dollars and over 1.5 million people will have to be evacuated.
Looking at the recent history of Los Angeles floods and landslides and combining this with the superstorm predictions, one can say with certainty that slope repair is not an option but a requirement for California hillside property owners if they want to keep their family safe. Fortunately, a Los Angeles Construction company – Sinai Construction specializes in these kinds of repairs. If you want to strengthen your house against slope failure, call them asap for a free consultation.