Sacramento CA Area Flood, Mar 1852


Our dates from San Francisco are to the 15th ult. The news is of little interest.

The leading item of news relates to severe freshets in the interior, consequent upon recent and very heavy rains. The loss of property, however, is not so great as on a former similar occasion. Sacramento City was overflowed on the 7th March, in consequence of a cre[ineligible] in the levee. The Sacramento and American River had risen very rapidly during the day previous, and at length acquired a velocity of current and strength of pressure which the levee could not resist and the water poured into the city at several points. All the bridges were swept away, and several persons---names not given---were drowned. The greater portion of Sacramento was inundated, and boats were brought in requisition to navigate the streets to and from the State Capitol and between many other points. The loss, however, was chiefly confined to the owners of small cottages, whose furniture was more or less damaged. The merchants, having anticipated the casualty, had taken precautions which saved their stocks. The citizens turned out, and under the direction of the Mayor, the breaches in the levee were repaired. The rains ceased, the rivers resumed their ordinary level, and at the last accounts all parties were repairing damages in good spirits, and rejoicing "that it was no worse." The entire loss in the city is estimated at $150,000. The farmers and gardeners, on the low lands, and the proprietors of bridges, must have sustained much greater losses.

At Marysville the destruction was proportionately greater. The lower part of the City---the business portion---was from 6 to 14 feet under water. The foundations of Peter Robertson's Chill flour warehouse, and of Ream & Co.'s brick store, were washed away, and the buildings fell. Other brick buildings are seriously weakened. The aggregate amount of less cannot be less than $100,000.

Along the bed of the plain between the San Joaquin and the foot hills of the Sierra Nevada there are numerous channels, which have been formed by the rains of successive winters, and which are dry in summer time. These have been completely filled, and their banks have been overflowed to a greater extent than has ever been known; while the rivers Moquelumne, Calaveras and Stanislaus have risen at least 12 feet higher than they rose in the severe winter of 1849 and '50. The country on the Moquelumne was completely flooded, the crops are hidden from the sight, and in many places the houses have been swept away. Every bridge and ferry on the river was carried down by the resistless force of the current.

Communications with the mining districts was cut off for several days. Mining operations in many places had been impeded to a considerable extent by the flood, but the increased supply of water was hailed with joy by many others, who had been unable to wash out their "dirt" for the want of it. It is confidently expected by intelligent persons, who have given attention to the subject, that the yield of gold this season will exceed that of any former year. A greater number of persons have been at work, and a greater quantity of earth has been dug, than was ever known before.

New York Daily Times, New York, NY 13 Apr 1852