The Times podcast: The megaflood, next time in California

Los Angeles River in Long Beach
An aerial view of the Los Angeles River west of DeForest Park in North Long Beach and the neighborhood east of the river.
(Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times)

Few people associate urban and suburban Southern California with floods anymore, mostly because many of its rivers were dammed up or transformed into concrete gulches long ago. But scientists say a megaflood could hit the entire state and would submerge cities, hitting communities of color particularly hard.


The state is nowhere near prepared for that. Today, our Masters of Disasters talk about this upcoming flood, what it could mean for a rising sea and more. Read the full transcript here.

Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: L.A. Times earthquake-COVID reporter Ron Lin, L.A. Times coastal reporter Rosanna Xia, and L.A. Times environmental reporter Louis Sahagún

More reading:

Major flood would hit Los Angeles Black communities disproportionately hard, study finds

Risk of catastrophic California ‘megaflood’ has doubled due to global warming, researchers say

More than 400 toxic sites in California are at risk of flooding from sea level rise

About The Times

“The Times” is produced by Shannon Lin, Denise Guerra, Kasia Broussalian, David Toledo and Ashlea Brown. Our editorial assistants are Roberto Reyes and Nicolas Perez. Our engineers are Mario Diaz, Mark Nieto and Mike Heflin. Our editor is Kinsee Morlan. Our executive producers are Jazmin Aguilera, Heba Elorbany and Shani Hilton. And our theme music is by Andrew Eapen.