Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Preservation of CPRR Records at the CSRM in a Sacramento Flood

A disturbing History Channel TV program "Mega Disasters: California's Katrina" which was shown this afternoon indicates that the existing Northern California levy system has serious design and maintenance problems, including the use of eroding sand levies of the type that failed in New Orleans. Flooding with water 20 feet deep in Sacramento is predicted by disaster preparedness computer models. Predictions of this sort cannot be taken lightly, as they may eventually turn out to be uncannily accurate.

Are all of the unique Central Pacific Railroad records at the California State Railroad Museum located high enough so that they would be safely above the maximum flood level? Are all of these unique records digitized or microfilmed and copies kept at one or more secure offsite locations so that if the original records are destroyed, for example, by flood or fire, copies will survive? If not, what can be done?


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: KyleWyatt@aol.com

We've been painfully aware of our levee liabilities for some time. In the immediate term there is little we can do except plan contingencies.

However, one thing we are moving forward on is locating a place on high ground where we can build a State Parks collection facility to care for all our collections – above flood level.


10/17/2006 10:34 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

See related discussion.

2/19/2011 12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Flooding in Sacramento, 1861.

"Over 150 years ago, a strong series of atmospheric rivers drenched the Golden State, causing one of the most exceptional floods in history following a dry spell that had left the West parched for decades. Communities were demolished in minutes. It was the winter of 1861-1862 and a historic megaflood transformed the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys into a 'temporary but vast inland sea' ... Some areas had up to 30 feet of water for weeks, obliterating infrastructure, farmland, and towns. Sacramento, the new state capital at the time, was under ten feet of debris-filled water for months. The catastrophe began in December 1861, when nearly 15 feet of snow fell in the Sierra Nevada. Repetitive atmospheric rivers dropped warm rain for 43 days thereafter, dumping water down the mountainous slopes and into the valleys. Four thousand people lost their lives, one-third of the state's property was destroyed, a quarter of California's cattle population drowned or starved, and one in eight homes were a complete loss by floodwaters. In addition, one-fourth of California's economy was obliterated, resulting in a state-wide bankruptcy. ... Downtown Sacramento ... was raised 10-15 feet after the historic floods. ... About 500,000 people lived in California in 1862." —CNN

Photograph of Sacramento 1861 flood.
Courtesy Sacramento Public Library.

8/13/2022 9:01 AM  

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