Tehachapi Mountains, CA Caliente Creek Cloudburst Flood and Train Wreck, Oct 1932

Caliente Creek Train Wreck and Flood Tehachapi CA Engine Found.JPG Tehachapi CA Engine Marker.jpg



Los Angeles, Oct. 1. -- (UP) -- The Southern railway reported today that a train running from San Francisco to Los Angeles, containing an undetermined number of passengers, has been stranded all night at Bealville, twenty-seven miles east of Bakersfield.
The railroad company reported that there was sufficient food on board the train to prevent inconvenience to the passengers. A bus has been dispatched in an effort to reach the stranded train and remove the passengers, the company said.

San Francisco, Oct. 1. -- (UP) -- The Southern Pacific railroad today received a report that MRS. NELL COOPER and her niece were drowned when flood waters swept through Caliente, Calif., during the height of a cloudburst in the Tehachapi mountains during the night.

Bakersfield, Oct. 1 -- (UP) -- The known dead in a cloudburst over the Tehachapi mountains increased to seven today with discovery of the bodies of two unidentified men.
They were found near the service station near Woodford, forty miles south of here from which the family of PETER KADD was swept to death. KADD'S wife and two children were killed with him.
Two brakemen were missing from a freight train, the engine and seven cars of which plunged into a canyon, killing A. M. ROSS, the engineer.
The freight train was standing on a trestle near the station at Woodford, about a mile from the town of Keene, unable to proceed because of the storm. Great walls of water swept the trestle foundations away, tumbling the engine and seven freight cars into a wash.
From 2 to 50 transients have been riding freight trains over the mountains. It was not determined how many, if any, were on the destroyed cars, but Southern Pacific officials estimated there were at least a score.
A wall of water swept down the canyon upon the edge of which the KADDS made their home. There was no warning, and all the members of the family were swept to death.
A pump house within a few yards of the Kern County Tubercular sanatorium at Keene was swept away. The building was undamaged and the patients safe, although only a few feet separated them from possible death.
Meanwhile, it appeared as if it would be hours before the fate of 20 road camp workers between Keene and Tehachapi, famous old mining town, would be known.
They were reported to have been trapped by the flood which swept down upon their camp. County officials with ambulances who left here early today expecting to reach them reported they were unable to get within 20 miles of the camp site because of washed out roads.
A hike of that distance over two ranges was begun to learn if the report of their deaths was authentic.
Four and one-half inches of rain fell during the cloudburst, sending torrents down both side of the Tehachapi divide. One stream frothed muddily down Tehachapi canyon toward the Mojave desert, the other down Caliente canyon to the San Joaquin valley.
For a time Tehachapi, famous old mining town 48 miles south of here was under three feet of water, with a torrent tearing through the streets, sweeping furniture out of houses and ending all communication. Caliente, another small town, was under two feet of water today.
The flood poured out over the Mojave desert and formed a large lake. The town of Mojave was reported to be under two feet of water.
All railroad traffic over Tehachapi pass, the inland route between the San Joaquin valley and the Los Angeles area was halted by the destruction of 600 feet of Southern Pacific railroad track.
Railroad officials said a day would be required to repair the damage and that all rail traffice would be routed along the coast.
High winds accompanying the storm tore down telegraph and telephone lines, isolating communities in the mountains. Great stretches of state highway were washed out, and traffic halted.
The highway was opened to light traffic today, but guards of highway patrolmen warned motorists that the road was barely passable and prohibited trucking and heavy traffic entirely.
County tractors assisted the lighter cars over the stretch of the highway between Oak Glen and Camp Tajon, virtually closed by a rock and mud slide.
Following the cloudburst at Tehachapi, another downpour fell near Lebee, near the summit of the Ridge route.

San Mateo Times California 1932-10-01

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