From the Archives: 1952 flooding in Artesia

Jan. 18, 1952: Hundreds were evacuated after flooding hits Artesia following storm. Water in some homes was 3 feet deep.
(Paul Calvert / Los Angeles Times)

By mid-January 1952, Southern California had received 12 inches of rain — twice its normal total. Then a new storm added four inches.

The Jan. 19, 1952, Los Angeles Times reported:

...Scene of the most serious and extensive rescue work was Artesia. Approximately 4,000 persons were threatened in the southern section of the agricultural community by waters that stood sometimes three feet deep in homes.

Saturated earth refused to absorb the accumulation. Hundreds of residents waited for relief.


Dr. Earl Horseman, co-chairman of the Red Cross Disaster Aid Committee, directed evacuation work of 100 Red Cross volunteers and Coast Guardsmen. Eight skiffs were trucked to the area by the Coast Guard. Some were towed through the water by vehicles. ….

Most of the nearly 1,000 persons taken from the homes were evacuated between 4 and 8 a.m., according to Chief Boatswain’s Mate R. F. Barnes, who headed the Coast Guard contingent. …

This Paul Calvert photo appeared on Page One of the Jan. 19, 1952, Los Angeles Times.

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