It was 6 a.m. in February 1969. A loud noise and a shaking house awakened me. Breaking glass was followed by the sound of flowing water.
I loved living in Southern California. My house, on a shelf cut out of “Little Mountain” in San Bernardino had a beautiful view of the valley, when the smog wasn’t too bad.
It had been an unusual winter. Christmas 1968 was one of the coldest on record, with below freezing temps and massive amounts of snow , piling up to 8 feet at Big Bear Lake.
Then came the rain. It is normal for Pacific storms to line up and hit Southern California one after another—bringing snow to the mountains and most of the year’s 13’ of annual rainfall. December’s freeze was followed by a very rainy January, with rainfall amounts from 10-50 inches followed by flooding and mudslides.
Then the “Pineapple Express” hit, drenching the same areas with from 5-25 inches of warm Southern Pacific rain. The mudslides started in earnest.