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January 31, 1862: San Francisco

January 31, 2012

San Joaquin Valley near Friant Dam, April 2006; by Pete Flickenscher, courtesy of NOAA Photo Library, on Flickr

We have had very bad weather since the above was written, but it has cleared up. In this city 37 inches of water has fallen, and at Sonora, in Tuolumne, 102 inches, or 8 1/2 feet, at the last dates. These last floods have extended over this whole coast. At Los Angeles it rained incessantly for twenty-eight days—immense damage was done—one whole village destroyed1. It is supposed that over one-fourth of all the taxable property of the state has been destroyed. The legislature has left the capital and has come here, that city being under water. This will give us a better chance for our appropriation, but still the prospect looks blue. There is no probability that we will get enough to carry on work with our full corps….

All the roads in the middle of the state are impassable, so all mails are cut off. We have had no “Overland” for some weeks, so I can report no new arrivals. The telegraph also does not work clear through, but news has been coming for the last two days. In the Sacramento Valley for some distance the tops of the poles are under water!

1Probably refers to Agua Mansa.


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