No repeat: Memories of 1978 flood haunt La Crescenta

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From the Los Angeles Times:

From her home in the high reaches of La Crescenta, Jackie Genofile watched last week as hillsides so recently denuded by fire, and so ripe for collapse, bore the new insult of rain.

County officials had cleared debris basins at the foot of canyons. Residents had rigged sandbag-and-chipboard contraptions to block a slide, like burglar bars against nature’s intrusion. All that was left was to wait.

“Everyone was pretty panicky,” Jackie said. “I was a little concerned. I kept waiting and saying, ‘OK, if it gets rough, I’ll just get in the car and leave.’ ”

The last time, though, her only warning had been silence.

The rain had come in torrents in that February of 1978, and Jackie was accustomed to hearing the resulting clatter of rock and water coursing down the culvert next to her home. But suddenly there was nothing. Maybe, she told herself, it isn’t raining as hard as I’d thought. She went back to bed.

“All of a sudden my daughter said, ‘Come here!’ ” Jackie recalled last week. Kim was in her brother’s room at the front of the house, where they watched as electrical transformers exploded on the hill rising steeply before them. “And all of a sudden, all hell broke loose — this big black thing.”

Click here for the full story.

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Written by Times Community News

October 18, 2009 at 11:13 am

Posted in L.A. Times

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