Floods of 1861-62 - Storm & Flooding Timeline
Mostly from Sacramento Union Stories, see Union file above.
(c) 2012, Mike Barkley
These dates are fairly precise in the Union, etc. - I've omitted many others where they aren't so precise; I can footnote sources if needed
11/10/1861 - annual snows begin at Mono
11/13/1861 - Hate & Hughes' saloon, Mono?, roof collapsed from accumulated snow
11/20/1861 - blizzard late at night at Mono, Esmeralda & Aurora
11/30/1861 - inundation downtown Yreka, Yreka Creek
xx/xx/1861 - very heavy snows, almost down to the valley floor, Mendocino &
Northern Sierra passes blocked
12/01/1861 - first Southern Oregon floods
12/03/1861 - first peak flow at Ft. Umpqua, OR
12/xx/1861 - 1st Trinity/Klamath flood
12/04/1861 - Nisqually bridge, near Olympia WA, swept away,
12/04/1861 - Peak flood ever on the Willamette, 600,000 cfs
12/05 - 12/08/1861 - record severest rains and snows, Shasta
12/06/1861 - heavy rains to the north; Yuba within 3" of record & rising, Feather Sacramento & American rising
12/06 9:00 a.m. - 12/09 9:00 a.m. - 12.5 inches of rain at Downieville, with 7 inches on 12/08
12/07 - 12/08 - 2nd Downieville flooded
12/08/1861 - 2nd Jacksonville Oregon flood
12/09/1861 - second peak flow at Ft. Umpqua, OR
12/09/1861 - Record high water on the Trinity
12/09/1861 - 1st Sacramento City (American) levee breaches & inundation following warm rains; peak water inside the levee, 20" less than 01/10/1862
12/10/1861 - 2nd Peak flood on the Willamette
12/XX/1861 - (13th?) 2nd record Trinity flood
12/13/1861 - Sacramento River high water, 22 feet
12/22 - 12/25 - flooding rains on the Calaveras
12/23/1861 - hard rains began in Stockton
12/23/1861 - 2nd Sacramento City (American) levee breach, minimal inundation
12/24/1861 - inundation east of Linden (Fifteen Mile House)
12/26/1861 - Red Bluff deluge, stage lines cut off north & south
12/26/1861 - Hangtown Creek in Placerville crests
12/26/1861 - howling southeast gale & heavy rain in Stockton
12/27/1861 - second Sacramento River high, record water 22 feet 7 inches
12/27/1861 - inundation begins in Stockton; countryside for miles inundated
12/27/1861 - bridge over Mokelumne at Woodbridge swept away
12/28/1861 - general inundation in Stockton
12/xx/1861 - Halladie-built wire suspension bridge 98 feet above the Klamath 3 miles below Weitchpeck carried off by flood that overtopped it by 42 feet.
12/31/1861 - third Sacramento River high, again record water 22 feet 7 inches
01/05/1862 - Record snow fall on the Sacramento Valley floor, 6-8 inches at Chico, melted immediately ?
01/08/1862 - Montgomery St. and elsewhere, San Francisco, flooded
01/09/1862 - (& 8th?) torrential rains begins in the Sierras onto deep snows over frozen ground
01/09/1862 - (& 8th?) Hangtown Creek, Placerville, at record height
01/09/1862 - inundation begins incresing in Sacramento, 20" deeper than 12/09 by 01/10
01/09/1862 - some flooding downtown Stockton
01/10/1862 - most of [?] downtown Stockton flooded
01/10/1862 - 10:00 a.m. Knights Ferry bridge swept away
01/10/1862 - noon Knight's Ferry wire foot bridge carried away
01/10/1862 - Tuolumne overflows its banks
Damage to communications lingering from the early December storms produced an
extensive lag on reporting of damage from the early January storms.
01/10/1862 - 01/11/1862 - new Sacramento River record, 24',
01/10/1862 - Storm reached Ogden City, Utah Territory & swept away most Weber river bridges with record high water.
01/11/1862 - most of Stockton area inundated, high water 10:00 p.m.
01/11/1862 - Alvarado, Alameda County, under 6' of water
01/11/1862 - San Lorenzo River, Santa Cruz, flood crest
01/11/1862 - 2:00 p.m. or next 2:00 a.m. Knights Ferry business district swept away
01/11/1862 - 01/12/1862 - Heavy flooding at Dayton on the Carson River, Nevada Territory.
01/11/1862 - evening, flash floods East of Salt Lake
01/15/1862 - first comment in the Union of a breach in the North
Levee at Seventh [and Eighth] several days before[02/12: "several
breaks"]--no notice of when it
actually breached.; mention on 02/12 of serious breach at Twentieth; and
with the break at Rabel's Tannery [the block bounded by A.B., Twenty-seventh
and Twenty-eighth streets ] that makes 3 breaches in the north levee west
of the cross levee; after the flooding of the 10th the Union became
skimpy on reports of flooding events within urban Sacramento, possibly
from anxiety over the Capital being moved to San Francisco.
01/16/1862-01/17/1862 torrential warm rains following heavy snows of 01/13-01/15
01/16/1862 - 01/18/1862 torrential rains pushed the Santa Ana River to flood, destroying the town of Agua Mansa [from the Union, may be wrong, see the Taylor Brothers report]
01/16/1862 - Walla Walla hit -29 degrees
01/17/1862 - flash flood at Curtis' Sulpher Springs 4 miles up from Santa Barbara
01/18/1862 - most or all of Stockton inundated
01/18/1862 - Los Angeles River floods
01/20/1862 - Sacramento River rose to 23'
01/20/1862 - Southern California major storm
01/21/1862 - Sacramento inundation within 26" of 01/10/1862
01/22/1862 - Flood peak, Santa Ana River,
01/22/1862 - Sacramento levee on the American at Rabel's Tannery failed a bit
01/22/1862 - Sacramento River rose to 22' 10"
01/22/1862 - Sacramento River near Shasta (just west of Redding) 3-1/2' higher than any other time this winter
01/22/1862 - Colorado & Gila began to flood, Colorado backflooding the Gila; Gila City entirely destroyed.
01/22/1862 - Ohio River flooding & rising
01/23/1862 - Backwater flood in Stockton
01/23/1862 - Mokelumne City under water and still rising
01/23/1862 - Sacramento River at Red Bluff record hight at 34' above low water
01/23/1862 - Steamer Gem swept through the break at Rabel's Tannery and deposited a half mile into the city
01/25/1862 - First suggestions in the UNION of floods as far south as Visalia
01/27/1862 - Sacramento River city gauge finally carried off by the current, having been damaged by the Steamer Gem on 01/22.
01/28/1862 - Record cold, Northern California
01/29/1862 - 1-2" snowfall in the San Joaquin Valley
01/30/1862? - Florence (now ID) hit -34 degrees
02/01/1862 - First reports in the UNION about Southern California floods
02/04/1862 - Mention that the North Levee at Seventh has been repaired
02/26/1862 - Sixth Sacramento inundation, Sacramento River to 19'
02/28/1862 - Sacramento River to 19'9"
03/02/1862 - Sacramento River to 21'
--Mike Barkley, 167 N. Sheridan Ave., Manteca, CA 95336 (H) 209/823-4817
No more excuses! - Cure Multiple Sclerosis now!