What caused the los angeles flood?

According to the report, the lower reaches of the Los Angeles and San Gabriel rivers could overflow and turn sections of Long Beach, Carson, Lakewood, Compton, Downey and West Covina into flood zones. Coastal flooding could flood areas such as Belmont Shore, Naples and Seal Beach and the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. In Los Angeles County, flood control officials say an urgent priority is to empty the mud and debris deposits that protect urban communities from floods and debris that move rapidly from the San Gabriel Mountains. Around 108,000 acres (44,000 ha) were flooded in Los Angeles County, and the most affected area was the San Fernando Valley, where many communities had been built during the economic boom of the 1920s in low-lying areas that were once used for agriculture.

Wide swaths of the San Fernando Valley were flooded; floods in the Los Angeles River tore down bridges and destroyed railroads. Dozens of canyons upstream capture rainwater in the San Gabriels River and merge into the Dry Creek, which flows through the Devil's Gate and is one of the main tributaries of the Los Angeles River. Although some work was already under way on the river canal at the time, the 1938 flood was the main impetus to channel the Los Angeles River in particular, accelerating the flow of flood waters to the sea. Downtown Los Angeles was flooded and residential, industrial and commercial districts were flooded by rain, but only yesterday for several hours.

Between February 27 and 28, 1938, a storm from the Pacific Ocean moved inland into the Los Angeles Basin, running east to the San Gabriel Mountains. Because of its location between the Pacific Ocean and the high San Gabriel Mountains, the Los Angeles Basin is subject to flash floods caused by heavy orographic rainfall from Pacific storms that hit the mountains. Flood control structures prevented the destruction of parts of Los Angeles County, while Orange and Riverside Counties suffered more damage. The Great Flood of 1862 occurred in a series of storms that lasted only 45 days and plunged most of the Central Valley and the Los Angeles Basin under water.

The Los Angeles Times chartered a United Air Lines passenger plane to provide them with an aerial view of the damage caused by the floods.

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