Ask Californians about the most pressing natural-disaster issue facing them. They will tell you it’s the so-called “Big One“, or, in other words, a long-anticipated San Andreas Fault earthquake that will sink the whole west coast into the sea. But while we wait for that scenario to occur, they seem to have forgotten that their closer threat is a surprisingly reliable California Superstorm, which occurs every 100-200 years. The last one struck in 1862. So, at most, Americans have 45 years to figure out something the Native Americans have known since forever: California is the biggest of the Great Lakes.
The California Superstorm happens every 100-200 years and drowns the whole state in a catastrophic flood. The last time this megaflood struck the Golden State was in 1862 when it rained for an excessively biblical 42 days and nights. The deluge not only drowned thousands of people and hundreds of thousands of cattle, but it temporarily forced California to move its capital from Sacramento to San Francisco and bankrupted the entire state. In some places, the tops of telegraph poles were submerged, and survivors were forced to travel by rowboat.
And the next one isn’t going to be any better. According to a simulation called “ARkStorm“, researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey project that a stretch of the Central Valley 300 miles long and 20 miles wide will be completely underwater.
One quarter of the houses in the entire state of California will suffer some kind of flood damage. “Cities up and down the coast of California would flood. Winds would howl 60 to 125 miles per hour, and landslides would make roads impassable.“
So, at most, Americans have 45 years to figure out something the Native Americans have known since forever: California is the biggest of the Great Lakes.