Floods of 1997 20 Years Removed, But Effects & Lessons Learned Remain

This time 20 years ago, 1996 ended with great snow pack in the higher elevations of California; but that changed with the New Year. January of 1997, rain was not turning to snow like during the weeks prior, and existing snow pack was melting. That led to record flooding from NorCal to SoCal, which destroyed homes, took lives and caused more than $2 billion in property damage. It was also a tough reminder that each of us needs to prepare ourselves for the time when floodwaters come lapping at our own doorsteps. There are countless ways to do that, and Cal OES has resources dedicated to that topic below. Meanwhile, click the link to watch the video KCRA-TV in Sacramento put together of the devastating floods year of 1997. It’s an excellent retrospective, an overall picture of what happened, and might make you think about what you can do to reduce your chances of becoming a victim without a fight.



My Hazards

Pre-Disaster & Flood Mitigation

Individuals & Families







Shawn Boyd

Shawn Boyd joined Cal OES as a public information officer in 2014 after a 20-year career in television news as a reporter, anchor and executive producer. He's a Cal State Sacramento alum and former US Navy yeoman and Air Force brat.

One thought on “Floods of 1997 20 Years Removed, But Effects & Lessons Learned Remain

  • January 3, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    This is an excellent reminder of California’s flood threat and the impact in recent history. The Cosumnes River does not have a dam and the integrity/maintenance and mitigation of levees will always play into where the water may go.


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