Meridian, CA and Northern, CA Flood, Mar 1940

Floods Drive More Families From Homes

$10,000,000 Damage Caused by Rush Of Waters

San Francisco, March 3. – (U.P.) – Northern California’s six day floods, generally receding hit the Meridian and Rio Vista areas with devastating effect today, driving additional families from their homes and causing further property damage which has mounted above $10,000,000 since last Tuesday.

All women and children in Meridian, Sutter county, were ordered evacuated from their homes before nightfall as backwash from the still-swollen Sacramento river and the Sutter by-pass flooded the town with muddy water ranging from one to eight feet in depth.
Levees Blasted

Levees of reclamation district 1500 near Colusa were dynamited to relieve pressure on the Meridian district. One hundred persons fled their homes, but many refused to leave despite orders from the Sutter county health department which warned the town was in danger of disease. Meridian and Colusa have been surrounded with water for four days, but not until Saturday night and early today was either town affected directly.

At Rio Vista, 50 miles east of San Francisco near the junction of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, more than 50,000 acres of fertile farmland, including large tracts of planted asparagus, were inundated with Sacramento river floodwater ranging in depth up to ten feet. The river went over its banks in at least nine places between Lindsay slough and Rio Vista.

In Sacramento, State Meteorologist E. H. FLETCHER said the Sacramento river flood level was dropping in many sections but that danger still existed because of sodden levees that threatened to crumble at several points north and south of Sacramento. The river fell a foot at Sacramento last night but temporary rises were reported at other stations.

New danger points in the flood were in Delta area between Rio Vista and San Francisco bay, where the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers gradually were emptying their flood crests after a 400-mile journey from the mountains to the sea. Heavy level rises were reported near Antioch and Martinez and some areas near there were under water.

Nevada State Journal, Reno, NV 4 Mar 1940