California's next megaflood — it's happened before

Posted at 8:02 AM, Mar 03, 2017

Record rainfall over the past two months has brought on the wettest winter California has seen in decades.

After five years of extreme drought across most of the state, the dry conditions have been completely erased in roughly two months thanks to three-to-six times the normal rain and snow in many parts of the state.

Now, another round of rain and snow is expected to hit the northern two-thirds of California this weekend.

That means more rain in the already overflowing reservoirs like Lake Oroville and additional snow on mountains with record-setting snowpacks.

The record amounts of precipitation in California have many residents interested in the epic flooding that occurred more than 150 years ago — the Great Flood of 1862.

It was in 1861 when farmers were praying for rain after almost twenty years of dry weather. In December of that year, their prayers kept getting answered over and over as a series of huge storms kept pounding the West Coast into January and February.

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The flood of biblical proportions put Sacramento, the state capital, under water for almost six months. The state government was forced to up and move to San Francisco until the flood waters subsided.

Many people drowned in the flood waters, about a fourth of the real estate was destroyed and hundreds of thousands of livestock were killed by the floods.

Geological evidence has shown us this type of severe flooding occurs every 100 to 200 years, so the state is due and this could be the year.

The United State Geological Survey has analyzed this historical event, and they've come up with a plan on how to deal with another event like this one. They call it "Arkstorm."

Watch the video above to learn more about this historic flooding event and how it happened.

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