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Floods Created Dams

In this time of drought we forget why these dams were built in the first place.

Dec 22, 2015

We talk about storage, but it's the floods that create dams.  The attached article offers a great example of why Dams were built and why government agencies asked farmers and landowners to put up their land as collateral to store these flood waters for use on their farms and valley cities.


People have too easily forgotten why smaller and larger dams like Fraint Dam, Oroville Dam, Folsom Dam, Success Dam,  Shasta Dam, New Melones and others were built.


The attached story printed in the Bee provides recent interviews with survivors of the major 1955 Kaweah River flood that almost wiped out the City of Three Rivers above Visalia.

In a 2011 newsletter we wrote "the Kings River was a threat to Reedley, Kingsburg, Lemoore and other communities.  Kaweah River and Cross Creek threatened the City of Visalia.  The Tule River threatened Porterville, Tulare and other smaller communities.  The Kern River flooded and threatened Bakersfield and Buena Vista Lake's farmers.  The cities teamed with farmers and went to Congress for flood protection.  They eventually got approval for construction of Pine Flat Dam on the Kings River, Terminus Dam on the Kaweah, Success Dam on the Tule River and Isabella Dam on the Kern River." 

In this time of drought we forget why these dams were built in the first place.  Environmentalists would have you believe it was all wonderful before dams, with salmon jumping and people laughing, but Mother Nature didn't just bring fish.  She brought damage and destruction.  A lot of hell came down those rivers.  Mother Nature could be one tough mother.  You can thank the dams for wiping out those memories.



Kaweah River flood hit Three Rivers 60 years ago

Sixty years ago this month, the Kaweah River flood of 1955 tore through Three Rivers in the middle of the night, wiping out bridges, homes and buildings.

The waters rushed down the canyons after midnight on Dec. 23.

Remarkably, no one was killed. But those who lived through it warn newcomers to be vigilant.

“If and when that high water comes, you get the hell outta Dodge,” said Schatzi Lovett, 88. “You can replace what you lose, except for a life.”

Fresno Bee

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