La Crescenta

La Crescenta

La Crescenta City Sign

The Great Flood of 1934

In November 1933, wildfires raged through the nearby San Gabriel mountains above the communities of La Crescenta, La Cañada and Montrose. During the last week of December of that year, a series of winter storms pounded the mountainside with 12 inches of rain. On New Year's Eve, more heavy rains led to sporadic flooding.


Around midnight, hillsides in at least three mountain locations collapsed sending millions of tons of mud and debris into the Crescenta Valley neighborhoods below.

More than 400 homes destroyed in La Cañada, La Crescenta, Montrose and Tujunga. Scores of people were killed, and hundreds were left homeless. Entire families were wiped out. The mudslides that began in the mountains above La Cañada and La Crescenta carved a path of destruction all the way to the Verdugo Wash and beyond.

Some Montrose residents sought shelter from flooding at American Legion Post 288, which was destroyed, killing 12.

Parts of Foothill Boulevard were buried under 12 feet (4 m) of mud, boulders and debris. The mud was deep enough to bury cars completely on Montrose Avenue. Miles of Honolulu Boulevard were inundated by several feet of sand and silt.

To honor the victims of that New Year's calamity and to mark its 75th anniversary a small monument was dedicated January 1, 2004, at Rosemont and Fairway Avenues, in Montrose, near where the American Legion Hall had stood.

Following the disaster, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the County of Los Angeles built and maintain a flood control system of catch basins and concrete storm drains, designed to prevent a repeat of the 1934 disaster.




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